Snake of the Wood


This staff became a snake before my eyes!
It garnered instant dread
while hung above my head
in forest where I tread,
and one can just imagine my surprise.
I know not how it got up there,
This serpent hanging in the air.
My instincts told me to beware!

Is this the Evil One who tempted EVE with lies?
With God’s forbidden fruit, did he deceive, disguise?

As I recall old Moses had a staff
that turned into a serpent
when thrown upon the ground
in front of Egypt’s Pharaoh.

This staff became a snake before my eyes!
But now I see it’s just a branch of wood,
a serpentine display misunderstood.
Be still my heart, there’s nothing here to fear!
Its origin is now completely clear.
No staff became a snake before my eyes!
‘Twas just a figment caught me by surprise.

Author Notes:

I actually did come across this wooden branch during one of my walks in the woods, and it did startle me for a minute. It is only a wooded vine, but it sure looked like a snake for a moment. Of course, I was inspired to capture its image and write this poem. it will become one of my animated stills.

The poem is a Fusion Sonnet.
This falls under the auspices of the Modern Sonnet genre. As such, it breaks several Sonnet rules. Most notably, it has 21 Lines rather than the typical 14. The Fusion comes from blending in 4 lines of Free Verse at lines 11 through 14. It has a strict Structure and Rhyme Scheme, but is more flexible in the area of Meter. Here are the complex rules:

14 line Poem followed by a Half Sonnet of 7 lines acting as a Coda or Tail to add additional stability to the poem. No particular Meter is followed, “Fusing” it with the modern Free Verse style.

First Fourteen Lines:
Same Rhyme in 1st,5th,9th & 10th Lines.
Same Rhyme in 2nd,3rd & 4th Lines.
Same Rhyme in 6th,7th & 8th lines.
Rhetorical questions in 9th & 10th lines.
Negative and pessimistic note in the first 10 lines.
Free Verse in 11th, 12th,13 & 14th Lines.
Line 15 repeats line 1.
Next Seven Lines:-The Half Sonnet acting as a Coda.
Same Rhyme in 16th and 17th lines.
Same Rhyme in 18th and 19th lines.
Line 19 and 20 repeats line 1 and 5. ( I modified them slightly here.)

This picture was taken by the author himself on July 11, 2017 at Battle Creek Park in Maplewood Minnesota.

Synergy of Poetry and Verse. Author, Poet, Photographer

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