Category Archives: 'Light Shifts'

‘Lotus,’ by Carole Di Tosti, Photos by Gwen Greenthal

Lotuses at the lily pond at New York Botanical Garden 2021 (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal)

In my newly released book of sonnets Light Shifts, there are five featured sections. In ‘God in Nature,’ there are two sonnets about Lotuses, one opening the section, the other closing it. I considered adding pictures, then realized that unless they could be duplicated via Kindle digital (they don’t show well) that the photos would be misrepresented. Photographer Gwen Greenthal’s photos are too lovely to be distorted. When Amazon moves to hard cover and upgrades the technology to include exact facsimiles of photos, I will consider it. To check out Light Shifts, go to my books page:

A single lotus bud at the lily pond at New York Botanical Garden 2021 (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal)


The fragrance fragile, hints of frankincense.

The buds so creamy, shaded tapering pinks.

The petals seek the sun in recompense.

From watery darkness muddy roots did drink.

Enfolded in the torpid dank and slime

With faith that soon its glorious day will come,

It waits in dormancy then slowly climbs,

In skyward grace to bask in citrine sun.

How many of your kind just stayed below,

Devoid of spark to seek the spiritual light?

How many not ignited by God’s flow

Of love, instead did die in wilted blight?

A miracle each risen Lotus bloom,

A wealth of glorious life born in the gloom.

Gwen Greenthal noted the lotus evolution from bud to seed. Look from right to left or you’ll miss it. (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal),

Lotus preparing to seed, NYBG Lily Pond 2021 (courtesy of Gwen Greenthal)

Lotuses are represented in the literature of most cultures in the world. Their beauty and transience (two-day blooms) retain philosophical symbolism associated with purity, fertility, compassion, transformation, and spiritual enlightenment. Its scientific name is Nelumbo nucifera. It is referred to as Sacred lotus and Indian lotus. Sacred lotus has long been used as a food source and ingredient for traditional herbal remedies. Plant parts contain neuroprotective agents that interact with specific targets to inhibit Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

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