“It’s how you look at it,” she said.

IMG_3507by cheri

On a walk the other day, I came upon a tall and spiny collection of individuals with light on their fingertips and ribs on their bodies. The atmosphere was electric; the ground, troublesome.

Although I greeted them with my customary “hello there,” and “how’s your day going?” they ignored me, choosing instead to pray to the  One-Armed God at the top of the hill.

Otherworldly, they spent the day in a depression, looking for some color in their lives.


The One-Armed God capitulated to the Terrier God, who entered the blustery sky just in the nick of time.

With a little “woof” and a swirl of swift swells in the atmosphere, the prickly ones returned to color; the ground , too, obeyed. The jumping cholla began to laugh in the middle ground.

When the West Highland White Terrier left the sky, a small sign that said, “Worship me,” pushed up through the desert sand and dirt. Order was restored.


The Palo Verde and Mesquite trees bent to the bush who said, “Straighten up!”

About Cheri

Writer, artist, cable television host, grandmother to four!
This entry was posted in My photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to “It’s how you look at it,” she said.

  1. shoreacres says:

    I never have seen saguaro cacti, and I want to in the worst way. I’ve never seen a jumping cholla, either, but I’m not quite so eager to make its acquaintance. I’ve heard stories. I like your little story, and I have to say I was surprised by how green the cacti were in the sunlight. Is that usual? Maybe there had been rain, and the combination of rain and sunlight made them look almost verdant. A delightful post!

    • Cheri says:

      You will see Saguaro and Jumping Cholla before you know it and yes, they are a sight to behold, provided that none of their quills are in your skin. The cacti are quite green. Go to the Desert Botanical Garden website in Phoenix to see just how green they are. I had fun imagining a little story that accompanied these photos, an activity that I had my students do. Thanks, Linda.

  2. Brig says:

    Liked seeing the saguaro cacti when we visited the SW. They are interesting and are the home to many.

  3. Richard says:

    Again you capture an observation, take a parallel image and colour the reader’s imagination. It is indeed how you look at it. Somehow you probe the enigma of poetic expression yet manage to maintain the clarity of prose: an apposition that itself builds a creative tension. Your writing is quite unique in this respect and as fresh as ever.

    Is the title of the post a quote?

    • Cheri says:

      The title of the post is not a quote about which I am aware.
      You are way too kind, Richard, but as usual, I delighted in your comment. Prose and fun–a winning combination. Thank you, my friend.

  4. Lue Perrine says:

    Gorgeous terrain! I love being in the desert!
    Great pics Cheri!
    🌵 Sooo true how nature
    can speak to us With the serenity of
    it all!
    Beautiful writing too Cheri! 👍

  5. wkkortas says:

    I agree with the wise Richard–you’ve written concise yet evocative prose here which works hand-in-hand with the photography. Marvelous stuff, indeed.

    • Cheri says:

      Well, Richard is more than wise but you are more than sweet. It’s funny how even at our age, we still get giddy when someone we respect likes our work. Giddy me.

    • Richard says:

      I don’t know, wkk, what is wisdom? If saying in eighteen words what I said of Cheri’s in forty-tive, then so be it.

      Your own poetry is unique too, but generally in the opposite direction: you start with a series of highly personal reflections, masterly in conciseness and expression, and, when, complete, the reality miraculously appears.

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