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  • by Janet St. John

Art & Soul Short #45

Lion Sleeping. Antoine-Louis Barye (French, Paris 1796–1875 Paris). 1810–75. Watercolor on wove paper, lined sheet: 9 3/16 x 11 5/8 in. (23.3 x 29.5cm). Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art open access.

Animal Time

Present in the presence of self,

here-now. Breathe in, out.

Supine rest. Head on paws

Dirt bed. Desert vista.

Wind prickles fur.

A warm spot, here and here.

Sun pokes through clouds like stick

through foliage-dense forest.

Stop. Listen. Change here

happens imperceptibly

so we think nothing

substantial has shifted.

While inside, cells alter

configuration, transform,

mutate, renew. One

grain of sand falls

through choked-neck

hourglass. Second to second,

an animal observes. Minute

to minute, responds. Hour

after hour, acts, rests.

This is time for them.

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