Nature as Muse

Nature as Muse

by Mobi Warren

Some Morning Thoughts

This morning while out on a walk I paused several times to take a closer look at some small being, honing my attention to a tiny, more-than-human space:  a Monarch caterpillar balanced on a Zizotes milkweed leaf, a leafcutter bee asleep in the yellow cup of a Mexican prickly poppy, a Salt Marsh Moth caterpillar with long black and red-orange hairs crawling the length of a grass blade.  These small frames of encounter and attention are where I often find the beginnings of poems. I am particularly drawn to insects, and as both a poet and a puppeteer, insects are often centered in my work.  They spark both my curiosity and wonder and often become starting points for research that helps me weave additional context and depth as I work on a poem or a puppet that will later perform the poem.

Such small encounters are always close at hand and available when one slows down, opens one’s senses, and takes the time and stillness to observe. It doesn’t require being in a wildflower meadow or park (though that is always nice).  A butterfly visiting a windowsill plant, intrepid “weeds” poking up between sidewalk cracks, the touch of a breeze on your face, the call of a bird – we live within an incredible weave of life that offers healing to traumas we may hold and doorways to become healers ourselves through our own creative work.

In the upcoming Nature as Muse workshop, we’ll explore various practices and prompts to hone our sense of wonder and attention. In a relaxed atmosphere of mutual support, we’ll look at how to center our writing around questions personally meaningful to each of us, and how to open wide the doors of our senses to discover poems waiting for us in the natural world. We’ll also look at ways to deepen our writing by engaging in a spirit of reciprocity with the more-than-human world.

Every writing workshop is unique, a gathering of individuals who for a few hours join to create a special community. I hope to help create an experience that honors every person’s unique experiences and voice, and can’t wait to see what emerges!

**Register for Mobi's Nature as Muse writing class for Women Veterans**

To the Bee Sleeping in a Cactus Bud

The sun has barely
peeled back its petals
when I find you
still night blind and asleep
tucked in the yellow silk
sheets of a cactus bud.

My eyes caress
the charm of your
compact anatomy,
knob head of
polished obsidian,
speckled with pollen.

Facets tessellate in
your compound eyes.
Antennal segments are
covered in hairs and pits
to pluck fragrant flower
molecules. A triangle of three
little eyes, bee compass,
sits atop your brow.

Your tooth-tipped mandibles
lean over the pale pillow
of a petal’s lip, as do
your two notched forelegs
bent at the juncture
of femur and tibia.

Every fitted part of you is
held in ambrosial sleep.
Even the sun pauses
its loud blooming.

Mobi Warren

Bee peaking out from inside a yellow flower
A cactus bee snuggled in a yellow cactus flower bud


How my heart of pink muscle
skipped a beat when I watered
the cast-iron plant in a pot
on the porch, and an anole
hidden in the broad leaves,
leapt up like a released cork
then plunged her green body
back into the leaves,
and how a moment later
though I still stood there
the lizard, trusting, crept out
and with a small, perfect pink tongue,
licked water drops, one by one,
off the glistening leaves
and how in that pink moment
whatever thirst I carried
was quenched

Mobi Warren

A lizard on a leaf
A green lizard with its pink tongue sticking out stands on a green shiny dew-covered leaf

2 thoughts on “Nature as Muse”

  1. Hello! Reading this article, I gained valuable insights into the impact of art on individuals. At Pedalisa Art, we explore similar themes. Specifically, we focus on the therapeutic use of mosaic Turkish lamp art and its contributions to personal development. We offer mosaic Turkish lamp art as a form of artistic therapy. For those interested, you can find more information and inspiration in our articles via our website at I am confident that those seeking to learn more about the healing power of art will find these writings beneficial.

    1. Thank you for your observations and invitation to explore mosaic Turkish lamp art. I own a small mosaic lamp that I purchased in Turkey many years ago and it brings me great pleasure.

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