Thursday, August 4, 2011

Five Snakes Passing By

He showed me the grim mouth
and chrome eyes, the unblinking patience
of a viper and how it seemed
broken from a tree, a serpentine branch
sage strewn over the black rocks

It touches the earth with all its length,
its armour of plates and the remarkable
loose segments of its tail passing by
I imagine its purple tongue,
split and stabbing, tasting me

And the other fellows
with their evolutionary glory,
boas and constrictors
and one fast and yellow and electric,
a trajectory of light at your feet

That one I picked up as a boy,
so curious to see him watching me
as he left his smell on my hands,
a reptilian introduction
with its striped dorsal rainbow

He sees with a fine sensitivity
to what is loathed in the world,
what has been lost,
a reverence that we need to come back to,
his gift to us all

1 comment:

  1. You have now insipred me - packing my gear and heading out into the field. Exceptional Danial, it gave me goosebumps and tears of joy.