Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ World Snake Day

“Snake looks scary for us and we look scary for the snake! 
Always try to see yourself from the eyes of others!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

Orianne Society

Midweek Motif ~ World Snake Day

Your Challenge: 
Honor snakes in a poem. 

Have you any snake stories...  
2.5 minutes of this! or more.

...or snake beliefs? 
Shiva absorbed in meditation, as depicted commonly
in Hinduism with a snake around his neck.

Wikipedia is helpful with articles for  Snakes, Reptiles, and Herpetology.  YouTube has more in documentary, song and home video.

Snakes appear in Art and in Fiction.

1870s vinegar valentine snake proposal declined.jpg

Poetic Inspiration:


One day in that room, a small rat.
Two days later, a snake.

Who, seeing me enter,
whipped the long stripe of his   
body under the bed,
then curled like a docile house-pet.
. . . . (read the rest HERE at The Poetry Foundation.)

When the snake bit   
Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa   
while he was praying

the snake died. (Each day   
is attended by surprises   
or it is nothing.)

Question: was the bare-footed,   
smelly Rabbi more poisonous   
than the snake
. . . . (read the rest HERE.)

  • from Antony and Cleopatra by WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

  •  Cleopatra.                             Come, thou 
    mortal wretch, [To an asp, which she applies to her breast] 
    With thy sharp teeth this knot intrinsicate
    Of life at once untie: poor venomous fool
    Be angry, and dispatch. O, couldst thou speak,
    That I might hear thee call great Caesar ass
  • CleopatraPeace, peace!
    Dost thou not see my baby at my breast,
    That sucks the nurse asleep?
  • CleopatraAs sweet as balm, as soft as air, as gentle,— 

  • ~

1.      Post your Poem to Honor Snakes on your site, and then link it here.
2.      Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
3.      Leave a comment here.
4.      Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

(Next Week's Midweek Motif will be Le Tour de France )

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  1. Good morning Susan,

    It is a semi-honour, tongue-in-cheek style.
    I need a double latte to read through your post more carefully, as I reallly rather fear them, due to rattlesnake traffic below my lawn chair some years back, in upstate New York. It took courage today to write my post. Especially as I saw an adder in the garden last month. They are not supposed to come this far North in the UK.

    1. Welcome Jo-hanna! Where in Upstate NY? My story settles in the mid-Hudson Athens area, where my family always spoke well of snakes and looked for them. Mom let me touch a Garter Snake! I didn't discover how awe-full that was until I told my classmates. Smile.

    2. Ever been to a venom milking session?
      All those rattlers thrown in a pit, collected from the hills around and then one by one picked up with those armlength tongs and milked to make anti-venom?
      I had nightmares for years afterwards. [Pennsylvania/NY border. ]

    3. No! I hope they live through it!

  2. Thanks Susan for giving a chance for sharing a little bit of my childhood snake experience... :)

    1. I had to do that too. I wonder if snakes whisper their way into all childhoods?

  3. Can you believe it took three days for my poem to settle? I read a lot and remembered more, and then realized ,,, enough of that! It kept shape-shifting, but finally arrived, though maybe I will still be revising it as the week flows. Glad to be here and to welcome all poets, writers and readers to mid-week motif.

    1. you can tell, you worked quite the number of references in there...and some nice personal touches as well...

      mine i fear is a five minute dash...quite tongue in cheek...i dont mind my snakes...

  4. ode to the serpent

    oh snake, you low of the lowest---
    destined to look like a penis
    your size, makes all men envious

    & beware the ultra-Feminist
    their kitchen knives, i fear,
    may Bobbit

    in the grass, you moniker the sinister
    how smitten,

    you are by God to crawl on your belly,
    the salesman have milked you of your oil
    & left you wanting, like Rodney,

    "just a little respect,"
    thank you, thank you for every mouse & insect
    that finds you gullet, & crop you save
    to fill our supermarkets

    keep us in balance,
    & we

    we will ever malign
    your existence.

    1. HaHa! Part of the snake's purpose in our lives is to stimulate satire like this. For a 5-minute dash this takes the field! I love this, from penis size and Bobbit to maligned existence.

    2. In terms of years they have outwitted us on this earth it's true..but yes..shape..size and threat of kitchen knives must make them a little twitchy too! I think we have all had to think about this prompt which is great - always good to challenge perceptions and look at something new

  5. Cackled at the Bobbit reference! This is very witty, Brian. It started my day off with a smile.

  6. I'm off to work and will come back and make rounds late afternoon, kids....looking forward to all the - yikes - snakes!

    1. Looking forward to your visits. Don't worry, you are safe.

  7. Not an easy one to write - not a big fan of snakes. Had a few encounters with rattlers. I found an awesome photo of a snake that inspired...

    1. Haha's good to try to stand in the shoes of your poor foe!

  8. Susan,

    My poem embraces the many facets of human snakes-like behaviours!!
    I have just returned from holidaying in France and Switzerland, which will make the Tour de France topic for next week, most fitting!!


    1. You can write that one early if you like. I'll be visiting your poem very soon. Dinner break!

  9. loved the prompt Susan..made me introspect ...thank you

  10. thank you to those who have taken the time to comment on my snake poem. You know who you are and God bless yous! jt

    1. God Bless you, too, James. Thank you for writing a snake poem.

  11. I love snakes! Used to wear a boa as a necklace at the beach. Talk about trust! Thanks for this prompt, and y'all stay herpephilatic!! Amy

  12. Oh, thank you for dropping a gentle hint after reading my last poem! Not precisely written for this challenge, but brand new original work in the right time frame. My snake is not the whole poem, but maybe it's the point. :)

    1. Glad to have you close out the midweek, Rosemary!

  13. Goodnight, Poets United! If you have more consider posting them tomorrow during our weekly Sunday Poetry Pantry. It's been a great week.

    Next midweek, we're going to the Tour de France.


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