Thanks to Claire W. for sending me this poem of hers. I hope you enjoy reading it as well.
The snake sloughs off old age
– his skin, gleaming like a jewelled cloth
slips into the silver stream.
Ornate. Eyes, teeth and flickering tongue
make him an elegant trickster, a rich-clad thief.
No need of petty thefts –
his frauds are greater
(though his sibilant tongue will whisper a conman’s words).
Beware – he will drink deep of your immortality,
will drain the dregs of death,
each coil its own eternity.
And as he slinks in the dewy grass,
you will walk the straight path, the slow path
(all magic herbs now lost, all sorceries unlearnt,
the gifts of ancient gods squandered like common coins).
There is no need for his red venom.
The poison has set in.
Even the trees are treacherous now – the lakes, the streams,