Thursday, May 17, 2018

Daniel Snethen's Nature Poetry

Thank you, Daniel, for your patience.  Tonight (now that my grading is finally over) I'd like to post your poems that you sent a while back.  The beginning of the summer is a fine time to return to nature.  Since it has been raining constantly in Maryland these past few days, Daniel's poems will have to do for now.


bat wings echoing
Owyhee County mineshaft
frightened spelunkers


beady eyes, grey tail
popcorn puff clenched between teeth
scurries across floor

Majestic Mighty Mo

From Montana headwaters,
widening winding river flows—
Majestic Mighty Mo.

Steeped with prehistoric denizens.
Paddle-fish and sturgeon,
false-map  and leatherback turtles—
majestic pisces and terrapins
of the Majestic Mighty Mo.

Gavins Point and Oahe.
Fort Randall and Big Bend
all help ebb the flow
of the Majestic Mighty Mo.

Turbines churning,
create an electric electron flow--
lighting the prairie region
surrounding the Majestic Mighty Mo.

Coursing its way through Dakota
like a life-sustaining artery.
 Majestic Mighty Mo.

Mistaken Identity

The tiny serpent 
lay beside my pitfall trap
seeming to want
my attention.

Gingerly, I picked it up
around the middle—
taking in the glorious features 
of this tiny bullsnake. 

But the color was wrong,
too red—not brown,
like the juvenile of 
Pituophis cantenifer

but rather like the red
of the juvenile Coluber constrictor,
which turns grayish-green
as an adult blue racer.

However, the dorsal pattern
was not quite right,
and the girth— 
hefty, not slender.

I looked at the tail end
of this docile diminutive serpent 
and then I noticed 
the keratinous button of youth.


An ancient planet, an ancient society, post apocalyptic survivors of a world irradiated and ruined by alien invasion. Forced underground, a subterranean existence necessitated the evolution of an alternative life style. Eyes functional but sightless in a world with no light, these fossorial denizens tunnel blindly searching for nutrient, sustenance and the opportunity to procreate during any chance encounter with another of its kind…extinction thwarted by hermaphroditic evolution.

nocturnal worms meet
evolution takes no chance
hermaphrodite love

Haiku (Scorpion)

poison tail poised
field cricket frozen in fear
pinned on poison point


side-winding serpents
chisel-toothed kangaroo rats
telltale sandy trails 

Spearfish Creek

Spearfish Creek
from the bottom up.

Current too swift
to freeze 
from the surface down.

It is backwards
and sacred
like the Lakota Heyoka.

It flows all winter long,
satiating the thirst
of the deer,
the raven,
the lone traveler
and all the denizens
of the Black Hills.

It is Mni Wakan,
sacred waters
that never freeze.

Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny's "Beyond the Missouri Sky" 

would certainly fit well with Daniel's poems:

I'd like to include their "Moon Song" as well:

Below is Haden's "Taney County" from his 1986 album Quartet 



I'll finish with Pat Metheny's version of the Beatles' "And I Love Her":

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