Friday, September 25, 2015


A snake fell from a cloud
and was eaten by a bird
who then hid in the bush.

I found the bones of a snake
hidden in the bush
and took them home to make a necklace.

I wore the necklace to make you love me
to make you kiss me
which gave me the gift of flight.

Night wrapped around my necklace
which fell from my throat
whole again, escaping,

Mocking me with my own stolen voice
from the bush.

I was inspired by Sina Nkosi's fantastic poem "The Snake." Written for Kerry's challenge at Real Toads. 


Mama Zen said...

Oh, Shay! Whatever sickness you've got, please infect me! This is breathtaking.

De said...

Ahhhh. Voice, or wings. How often must we choose?
I loe this. And the original.

hedgewitch said...

Not one, not two, but three examples to send us all back to school. The simplicity of this really echoes the simplicity--and the darkness-- in the poem by Nkosi, and works so well in both. Here love is the phantom that chases even better than it bites, and it bites to the bone, even when only bones are left.

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is brilliant, Shay. Each time I read one of your poems to the prompt, I think: This is the best yet. What I love about this poem is the sense of a mythology here which is very African in its theme. The Zulu people believe that a snake calls a person in a dream to become a shaman (sangoma). One of the shaman's tasks is to make medicine, love potions etc. This poem is right on the money.

Rommy said...

It reads like a fable. Simple and beautiful.

Cloudia said...

Interwoven Intricate In

Escher would approve


Anonymous said...

I was glad to read Kerry's comment. Makes an amazing poem even better (if that's possible)

brudberg said...

Oh, the magic of the snake calling it has to work

Shadow said...

A circle. Never ending... Love it!

Sioux said...

Is Sina Nkosi only in 8th grade? Yikes! The necklace in your poem is quite an image.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow. The progression here, from bones to necklace, and then the falling away from your throat, the stolen voice. Incredible writing. One great leap of a poem.

Margaret said...

Seems like you get an A+ form the teacher... had you any idea of the African theme? I couldn't help but feel I was reading a poem that should be illustrated!

K9friend said...

I loved the image of snake bones turned talisman. This piece does has the feel of an ancient fable.

Critter Alley

Lynn said...

The bones of a snake... oh my!

I saw your comment about Emmylou being such a fan of the Braves - did not know that.

The neatest tidbit I have of her - she is the first cousin of my sister's close friend. Several years ago I met the friend right after Thanksgiving - she had spent it with Emmylou and the extended family. She said Emmylou sang a little Thanksgiving song for them. :)