Exemplary Turtles (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Exemplary Turtles (New Poem by Polly Castor)

Exemplary Turtles (New poem by Polly Castor)

Exemplary Turtles

A turtle
is exemplary in many ways.
She is always at home,
in water or on land,
indeed, she carries her
security and safety and comfort
with her everywhere she goes.
She has very few external needs.
In fact, turtles bring
almost all that they require
right along within them,
and interact with the world
calmly, slowly, and with
measured consideration.
Their textured carapace roofs
commodiously expand as they grow,
always accommodating and lovely
in patterned slate-like tiles
that are more and more
beautiful as they age.
A turtle enjoys
the simple things,
the warmth of the sun,
stretching its limbs,
sniffing the breeze,
going for a cool swim,
tasting a tender morsel,
chewing contemplatively.
When thwarted,
a turtle does not flee,
or blast, or fret, or gnash,
prevaricate, argue, or clash,
but instead, calmly goes inside,
not so much to hide
as to simply retreat
from antagonism and malice,
knowing without engagement
it will diffuse and go away.
Her dwelling and protection,
instantly adjacent and equipped
is ready for reasonable refuge,
invulnerable and familiar,
so nothing remains but to
quietly go there when necessary.
Turtles are not inert, though.
They move resolutely forward,
by minding their own business,
making progress only
by sticking their necks out,
reaching onward in their
seriously thoughtful way.
internally satisfied
with all that she includes,
deliberate in motives and demeanor,
unruffled, without lapse,
plodding ahead
one gnarly foot
in front of the other–
this is how turtles
alone win the race.
What can we learn from them?

by Polly Castor


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.

1 Comment

  1. Dilys 6 years ago

    Lovely poem, Polly, you are so talented! Bless you for sharing your talents with us.

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