Friday, September 10, 2010

Ribbon Snake in the Sun

I came upon him and he is

Startled; he glides

To the rock’s rim; he wheels, setting in motion

The stripes of his body, yet not going

Anywhere. And, though the books say

It can’t e done, since his eyes are set

Too far apart in the narrow skull, I’m not

Lying when I say that he lifts his face and looks

Into my eyes and I look back until

We are both staring hard

At each other. He wants to know

Just where in this bright, blue-faced world

He might be safe. He wants to go on with the

Flow of his life. Then he straightens

His shining back and drops

From the rocks and rockets through

The tangle of weeds, sliding, as he goes, over

My bare foot. Then it vanishes

Into the shade and the grass, down to

Some slubby stream, having

Startled me in return. But there is a

Small matter. What I would speak of, rather,

Is the weightless string of his actually soft and

Nervous body; the nameless stars of its eyes.

They say it can’t be done. We humans, cannot look into the face of other beings, and see the stars of the universe. We cannot look into own demise and know that we are all descended from the death of stars. We cannot see that each hatching and birth brings an inherent worthy being into this world, a star. We cannot live in peace.

I am of the dissenter church for I say it can be done. We meet in that nailed together Hodge podge of someone else’s garbage that you find on urban littered streets, in oil sludged waterways, in razed forests, and in orphanages and gangs that harbor and harm children. There our witness says that if flowers can bloom amongst the garbage, then we know that the stars look favorably upon us, not from above, but through the eyes of another. What I mean to say that to look at tree, flower, child, or snake is to look in a mirror and see glory. I say we can live in peace.

For today, breathe in with me peace, and then breathe out with love. If we can do this in one breathe, we may do it in many.


  1. I love that ending, "the nameless stars of its eyes". I have joined in the peaceful and lovesome breathing, which today seems to have a special rhythm, as it is Mary Oliver's birthday.

  2. Thank you Lorenzo for the sharing. Where were you for the breathing? I am visiting in Knoxville, TN.


  3. Where was I? At my home in Spain. My cat was about as close to nature as I got today.

  4. About a year ago I went to the Nature Trail where my young grandson is buried. On my way leaving a small snake slithered out in front of me and scared the bejeezes out of me. He stopped and I stopped and we stared at each other before he slithered away in the grass again. I noticed that he had a perfect orange line down his grandsons favorite color. It made me laugh and smile b/c I knew Michael was with me!! Then I found this poem!!!!

    1. That is sad, amazing, and wonderful all at the same time

  5. Very lovable peom i enjoyed the poem