Monday, May 16, 2011

Tuesday Poem: Swallowed your Tongue?

Forked Tongue by Dermal Denticles

A      s
i    f
v e 
n ’t
 to think about, 
there's a silver
python curled 
up in the 
coop. It's 
eaten two 
of the 
chicks. As
I write, they're 
in there being digested, the
                          small bulges with sharp points for the tiny beaks.
       I think the python is the same one             
we caught swallowing
Bruce the Rooster.
At least the
old rooter 
fought back. 
To just up
and go, to 
slide down 
the world's
throat with-
out a sound. 
Was there 
nothing you
had to say to
me? Noth-
ing to ask? 
To plead?
This time 
I called the
 snake man and he’s
on his way. To be honest,
     I’d rather smash the bloody thing
                with a spade and spread its silvery entrails 
                                under the avocado trees. But the snake man won't
            have it (and I can’t be sure it's all 
that easy to kill.) He
says he'll hold onto
the python until 
it's digested 
its dinner
and then 
let it go up
Odd place
 far too 
m a n y 
snakes and
 not enough
 rain. I  miss
the bush.
I miss

 Mary McCallum

As told to me once by a friend with a chicken coop. 

Photo by Dermal Denticles (photostream on Flickr). 
For more Tuesday Poems click on the quill in the sidebar. Yesterday's post here looks at The Best of the Best NZ Poems (VUP) -  a new book just out. 


AJ Ponder said...


I especially like the venomous snake that drips onto the page ;)

T. said...

Ah... the bode of the chicken within the body of the python within the body of the poem -- and the hissing at the end! What great fun this poem is!

Kathleen Jones said...

Love it Mary! Shape and content so beautifully harmonised! and after my recent brushes with a monitor lizard ........ (they eat mice but I'm sure they wouldn't mind a chick or two!)

Jennifer Compton said...


Mary McCallum said...

Oh thank you all - lovely to get a response first thing in the morning. I've removed the 'okay' near the end. It wasn't right in there. It just says 'I miss you' now. Much better. Thanks again. said...

Great shape (meaning the poetry and the form)

lillyanne said...

What a delight this poem is!

KAT ADL'S said...