Sunday, December 27, 2015

Snake in a Flood Plain in a Tree in a Rainstorm

I'm beginning to think of them
free from the sheer fear of them
after 20 years of living among them
mostly hidden
but who's really doing the hiding
thinking about them now
sometimes but not each time
as I would butterflies with fangs
(and that thought brings a tremble!)
with their perfect form
and inexorable designs on beauty
their amazing maneuverabilities
and seeming unpredictable ways
each owning the perfect adaptation
of the most skillful adepts
those whose inhabiting of self
is perfect in every way
without even a thought by them
in that direction.

This further dimunition of fear
is courtesy of the blacknecked garter snake
I saw early evening tonight
two feet long and fairly thick
or solid and substantial-looking
big from my experience of garter snakes
including two smaller ones coiled in coitus
(note the word-derivation fun there!)
found years ago humming silently
in the otherwise vacant center
of a coiled green water hose
whereas the one I saw tonight
was balanced not quite effortlessly
but with utmost certainty
mostly straightened with two minor curves
on a horizontal tree branch about eye level
about eight feet in front of me
and facing away but looking back at me
with its slender black face turned just so
an eye being kept on this upright one
entering her chosen territory
as she awaits the coming rainstorm
high above any localized flooding
because snake is always local
my near neighbor
and I'm comforted she's safe resting on her branch
not needing to leave for fear of me
any of the four times I approached her tonight
flashlight in hand
as she sniffs my approach
and I'm guessing she's there still.

Maybe I'll go
and visit my neighbor again
once the all-night rain lightens
or more likely clears for a while.

I long for the next time I may see her
with her beautiful yellow and black markings
a patented pattern of unique and specific beauty
among even all other patterns of unique beauty
(The Whole Living Multifaceted Universe
And Everyone And Every So-Called 'Thing' In It!)
the hint of redness in each yellow block
the seamless yellow gold streak following her spine
her black face glossy and innocent
all of her personage appearing new as if just emerged
from a spent gossamer skin
still in full stretch somewhere
perhaps hanging from narrow opening between rocks
her wet muscular length for now relaxed in place
waiting for respite and to move on.

Larry Piltz
Indian Cove
December 26, 2015

[Photo is from stock]

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