The poetry of porcupines is widely misunderstood — as most prickly things are. With the exception of roses. The reputation of the rose has always famously transcended its thorns.Perhaps because of the way it holds its silken package of petals up to the sky. Like a peace offering folded into origami-perfect whorls. Also the delicate perfume it issues like a benediction. These charms move us easily to love and forgiveness. But the porcupine is not possessed of such petals or perfume. Its bundle of bristles and their broadcasted stench are not for the faint of heart. Therein lies the problem. Too many of us are faint of heart. Too easily filled with fear and distaste we flee too soon from prickly things. And so we lose the chance to gaze into a pair of mild, short-sighted eyes (eyes sweet as the petals of a rose are soft). We lose our shot at a transformative glimpse. Into the deep gentleness that dwells in earth’s magnificent, misconstrued beings. A gentleness as real (if not real-er) than their quills.
January 12, 2014