Tag Archives: water snake




                                                                                Why do we
                    invite the world’s rancors and agonies
                    Into our minds though walking in a wilderness?

                              – Robinson Jeffers (“Going to Horse Flats”)

All the props in place, the stage is ever-set
for calamities, for the struggles for power,
for deceit in scripts yet unwritten, but predictable.

                    Two Red Tails strafe a passing eagle
                    reluctantly retreating to a steep hillside
                    to stand his ground, claim his space

                    to face their withdrawal. We watch snakes
                    squeeze and swallow one another whole
                    as the bobcat waits upon the tailings of a burrow—

this world, and that beyond it, turns on violence
despite our protests, despite our compromises,
despite the logic of compassion to dissuade it long.





When awaking barefoot in the dark,
we try to keep the reptiles out
of the house and our hazy dreams

knowing that if tree frogs can slip
through the cracks beneath our doors,
so might the snakes investigating

their whereabouts or ours. As early
surveillance from the underworld,
the Natives let the rattlesnake be—

to help keep everyone honest
by dispatching the evil among them.
Best be good, but keep your eyes peeled!