Thursday, September 6, 2018

Daniel Snethen Returns Once More

Tonight, at long last, I would like to post more pieces by Daniel Snethen.  I love how he writes about nature!

Moss-back marauder.
Aquatic terror of pond 
and slow moving stream.


Elastic neck
on a ripcord,
and steely-toed claws,
ready to rip and rend 
frog-flesh  and fish-fauna.

Reduced primitive plastron
of primordial paleontological origination
with spiked tail
and leeches latched onto its carapace,
all a part of its camouflage,
as it stalks its prey 
through the mucky bottoms,
disguised by all things 
ugly and horrible.


A child watched
as the cows went to their milking stanchions.
Ada the Ayrshire,
and finally Maple.

Big Brother balanced on a wooden T-stool
tugging at Star’s milking handles.
Sounds of Holstein milk whispered off the galvanized metal milk pail.
Creamy, standing in the stall next to Star, munched her ground oats.

Dad sat on a feed bucket and emptied Ada’s bag.
Ada was Dad’s cow: his favorite cow
                                                —and he spoiled her.

Cats sat on the dirt barn floor
waiting, anticipating the filling of the milk pan.
They would fight over the milk,
not by clawing and biting,
but by shoving and snarling
until one of them ended in the center of the pan
                                                                 —bathed in sticky white milk.

Sometimes Big Brother would squirt a thin stream of milk
at a cat—into its large gaping mouth
giving the feline a small appetizer.

Mom milked Maple—or Browny as the child called her.
Browny was a Brown Swiss bovine
                                                                —and the child loved her.

She ate feed from his tiny hand,
letting him scratch her neck,
while she switched her tail,
mooing appreciatively.
Often the lad gave her an ear of corn.
Browny wrapped her long fleshy tongue around the cob
leaving slobbers on the boy’s hand.
But, he didn’t care; he loved her
                                                                —and she loved him.

The child watched the cows for many years.
Each day they would march to individual stalls.
Every year calves were born and nursed
and when they were grown, they were sold.

One year, Browny’s bag swelled up.
Her teats were hard and lumpy and it pained her to be milked.
Her calf had to be bottle-fed or starve.

The bus dropped the child off.
School had been fun,
but this was a sad day.

“Mom, where’s Browny?”

“Dad sold her.”

“Dad, you sold her?
You didn’t tell me you were going to sell her.
You waited until I was at school.
Why didn’t you tell me
                                                                —why’d you sell Browny.”

“I had to sell her.
I didn’t want to
                                                                —but she had mastitis.”

Danny sobbed.


A blind woman, named Truth,
thrust her hand into a galvanized 
bucket of maggots and laughed, 
because their movements tickled.

She fondled the slinking s-curve
of a hissing serpent and said,
“how incredibly sexy.”

She felt the glowing
stove top burner and thought
it looked very hot.

Then the most handsome man
in the hemisphere asked her
to read his chiseled face.

And when she touched him,
her hands quickly withdrew
because it hurt her so,
and her eye-less sockets
wept tears because
he was horribly ugly.

To the Girl in the Brown Corduroy Pants

A vernal rain which ushered freshness into
my life now leaves me completely
enveloped in the shadow of wintry darkness
listlessly descending upon me as
I struggle against the aching of a heart
emptied of wine filled instead with yellow bile.

And if you’d realized my jubilance of having first 
met the girl in the brown corduroy pants,
eventually you would have known
love like none has ever known love. Instead you left me 
in abysmal loneliness which beckoned me like the
ebony-cloaked figure of that bastard Death and his bony finger.

Ah yes, there were many things I wanted us to do,
many things I wanted to show you.
Especially, I wanted to destroy you 
and your wooden red Miss Scarlet token,
in the library with the candlestick—and you, 
in your brown corduroy pants, would admit defeat
to the prowess of my Professorial plum-purple token.
And I wanted us to catch on a moonless night
multicolored moths winging their way across an African veldt
even as we followed migrating gnu
lugubriously in the wake of watching crocodiles 
intent on maiming and killing and feasting upon
every last living wildebeest of the African veldt.

And I still miss you, and my heart still aches, and
my eyes keep vigil, ever watching,
ever searching for that Oregonian girl to return
like vernal rains, ushering in freshness
in her brown corduroy pants never
ever to leave me again!


spring  rains beckon
burgundy striped clown beetles
caked in hardened mud
standing statuesque, heads down
with uplifted abdomens

                …zoologists now believe that the zebra’s stripes are less a function of camouflage and serve more as a function of disorienting tabanid flies –inhibiting them from landing on and biting the zebra.

Hypnotic black, white—
piebald stripes.


the honeybee stings
eviscerating itself
protecting her hive
mother clinging to scissors
Father’s pugilistic fists

Lunar Eclipse
engorged blood orange moon
eroded by
Earth’s shadow

Now let's add some music.

Recently Randy Weston died, so I'd like to start with his "Blue Moses," featuring Pharaoh Sanders:

"The Healers" is from the same 1990s album:

I'll follow with his "In Memory Of," featuring the trombonist Melba Liston:

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