Beauty, I’m told
comes from within
From the depth of the heart, 
not from the skin
From fierce independence 
softened by grace
From the splendor of hope, 
not just the face

I didn’t see this coming, 
yet I accept it as true
I was seeking my equal 
the day I found you
When I look in your eyes, 
my heart is inspired
And I think to myself, 
“She is filled with such fire!”

I was captured by beauty, 
but I’m held by respect
For what makes you strong 
makes you perfect
I’d gift you my heart 
and my soul, if you please
If you walk by my side, 
not to follow or lead

Perhaps one day 
we’ll share deep love and desire
Built not upon beauty, 
but these strengths I admire

The Tiger Flower by D.L.McHale

This is a short “fable” I wrote inspired by the incredible story of the daughter of Author, Christine Nolfi, as told in her wonderful article “The Woman I Raised”  Please take a moment and visit Christine’s post at (Part of her continuing series on The Celebration of Women!


The Elder Women of the villages spoke of a legend; they told a tale of a rare and exotic flower that grew in the dense lush jungles of the Philippines. It was said that no other flower existed like it anywhere in the world. No one had ever seen this flower live for it was said that to actually see it one had to be a True Believer and to date none of the Elders could remember such a person ever coming to the islands.

Although no one had ever seen one, everyone on the islands knew its name: it was called, quite simply, the Tiger Flower.

While the islands were full of bright, sun-dappled meadows dancing with flowers of every imaginable color, the Tiger Flower grew alone…somewhere deep in the jungle beneath the dark tangled palms and fronds.  At its base grew three distinct shoots, huddled diminutive beneath its protective pedals.  The three shoots needed the Tiger Flower to survive, and the Tiger Flower needed the three shoots to give it purpose.

In the depths of the jungle, no sunlight could penetrate the dark tangle of palms and fronds, but the Tiger Lily, it was said, survived because it had Fire in its veins.  Despite its estrangement from the flowers of every imaginable colors dancing in the bright, sun-dappled meadows elsewhere on the islands, the Tiger Flower was not a jealous flower, nor did it consider itself a victim.  It  fought each and every day simply to survive, and to ensure the survival of the three distinct shoots huddled diminutively beneath its protective pedals.

One day, a very special Woman arrived on the island.  The Elder Women knew she was special because she wore beautiful flowing robes of Compassion and Understanding.  On her feet she wore bejeweled sandals of Hope and Promise. She was full of Light and Laughter. She was a Weaver of Words, a Story Teller, and a Poetess.  They called her  “Mother” because she was of the Earth and full of Nurture.  But they could see she was one more thing as well.  One more very important thing:

She was a True Believer.

You see, she had come because back in the World she had a dream of the Tiger Flower. When she closed her eyes tightly in Faith and Unconditional Love, she could see the Tiger Flower, there deep in the jungle beneath the dark tangled palms and fronds, fighting for meaning. Fighting for Love and Acceptance. She could see at its base the three distinct shoots, huddled diminutive beneath its protective pedals, fighting for survival.  In her Dream of Dreams, she knew she had to come to the islands to bring the Tiger Flower and the three shoots back to the World. To bring them back into the Light.

The Elder Women of the villages led Mother to the bright, sun-dappled meadows dancing with flowers of every imaginable color, where it met the edge of the depths of the jungle, where no sunlight could penetrate the dark tangle of palms and fronds.  They watched as she disappeared into the darkness.

Once more, Mother closed her eyes tightly in Faith and Unconditional Love.  She did not need open eyes to guide her, for she had the vision of her Dream.  She walked deep into the jungle, and when she had walked an hour or so, she felt the air rush from her lungs and a single tear of joy fall from her closed eyes.  Slowly, she opened her eyes and there, beneath the dark tangled palms and fronds, she saw what she had waited her whole life to see: a Tiger Flower, surrounded by three distinct shoots, huddled diminutive beneath its protective pedals.

She kneeled gently upon one knee, and with a Kind and Loving Hand, she thrust her fingers into the soft earth, careful so as not to severe the island’s Heritage from the flower and the shoots, and she lifted the flower to her bosom in a warm and tight embrace.  Slowly, and with Patience and Enduring Love, she carried the Tiger Flower and the three distinct shoots, out of the jungle, back to the World, and into the Light.


Nearly twenty years has passed since Mother returned from the islands.  The Tiger Flower has bloomed fully in the Light and is now a beautiful young Tiger Lily, dancing in sun-dappled meadows.  She named the flower Christian, for she was truly “Christ-like” in her own growing abilities to Forgive and Love and Nurture others into fully flowering.

The three distinct shoots, too, have blossomed, in every imaginable color.  When they are older, she would tell them of the Elder Women of the villages, and of dense jungle and the dark tangle of palms and fronds.

But for now, she is content to see them all Dream their own Dreams.

Our Youngest Patriots

A boy watches men dig graves for future casualties of Syria's civil conflict, at Sheikh Saeed cemetery in Azaz city

The price of freedom comes not cheap;

it’s why the village women weep.

Sweet daughters and our native sons

lie dead beneath setting sun.

They gave their lives that we might live;

no greater gift could children give.

Old age will never call their names,

nor will they play their childhood games

For Allah has gathered to His chest

these angels here we lay to rest.


Understanding you is not, contrary to your incessant belief, the sole purpose of my existence. You are whatever you are, while I, without pause, accept this. If I were to assume a constant analysis of you and the things you do as my pre-ordained purpose for existing, I would as soon take the sharpest of razors and pass it with pleasure one-eighth inch deep across my gullible throat.
Your vanity exhausts me. Is there not a moment within any given day wherein your every waking thought is directed toward anything, or anyone, other than yourself? If not, then tell me, do you ever grow weary of unceasingly caressing the image of yourself, as even lust-crazed men tire of their indiscriminate seductions of faceless women? Don’t you ever lie spent after a consuming bout of self-adoration?
Here, then, is my ardent hope and prayer for you: May you love yourself only to the measure that others may, perchance, find in the smoldering remnants of your self-delight a crumb or two left over upon which to nourish their love for you as well.