Keeping It Real (For Jessie) - Poem by Jacqui Thewless
Keeping it real, a snake makes progress
through a desert of baked clay. She can
only imagine the flight of eagles,
the strength and faith of lions, by tasting the spoor
of Life in the grit of rocks
with her scissors-tongue.
The snake, who is lonesome, grows
tired of sand, hatches a brood of her own kind,
calls it ‘man', bites her tail, and changes into a river
of blood. - This red stream etherises.
Worlds die. Still burning, no one speaks, yet
people out themselves and enter the caves.
There are deep pools left from the deluge
of words in mountains: shelter
from heat, short passages to green
fields where everything edible is food
but anything written down is not bread. Again,
the sun in the heights waxes language, but the new air
tempers it with clouds, balancing drops
of spring water on the filaments of glass. A kind of
Serpent/lion/eagle-man sees Gods/ the Big Bang/the Apes/
the Ancestor in smashed splinters of a mirror. In fact,
though, the snake's only daughter is a lamb.
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