Sunday, May 12, 2013

So..uh...I wrote a poem about some snakes

By: Guest Blogger, Stephen Pickering

Well, this is awkward.

So far in Pillow Book Guest Blog Extravaganza, we've had a series of wonderful and frequently poignant vignettes, all of them containing some extraordinary stories and ideas that speak to the human condition and how we cope with the world around us.

I...well...there's just no getting around it, I wrote a poem about a snake infestation that happened a few weeks ago. And...uh...I based it on Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven. There's really no deep message. It's not even that funny. I'm not sure why I did it.

I am so, so sorry.

So. Here. I guess.

The Lawn Snake
By Stephen Pickering

Yes, I Instagrammed a picture of some snakes. I...I don't know why. 

Once upon a spring day dawning, as I staggered, feeble, yawning,
After many a game of baseball watched the night before.
As I tottered, boxer shorted, out the bedroom, sleeping thwarted
By the sound of something creaking, squeaking outside my front screen door
‘Just the mailman,” I grumbled, “delivering mail outside my front door—
Only this, and nothing more.”

Groggy, fixing sketchy coffee, I paused to wonder if I should see
If the mailman had just left me a package purchased from an online store.
Barefoot out the door I fared and grabbed some mail, yet unaware,
That at my feet a creature glared with a cold fury never known before
‘twas a lawn snake, basking in the sun upon the grassy floor
Only this and nothing more.

As I flipped from bill to bill I felt a movement near my heel
An expression of some evil will, coiling, bad intent laid in store.
Shrieking, flailing, arms pinwheeling, I sprang away with senses reeling
Tripping backwards, scrambling, kneeling, fighting back waves of primal terror.
The lawn snake calmly flicked its tongue, my feeble screaming it ignored.
Quoth the lawn snake, “…”

“Why come you into my yard?” I asked the snake, now on its guard,
“Do you not know my home is barred from you and all your kind that came before?
I ask you please, depart from here, return home,” I begged, sincere,
“For I do not wish to always fear stepping on some scaly thing, this I deplore.”
The lawn snake stared, no concern for the hatred that I bore.
Spoke the lawn snake, “…”

Towards the house I then turned, the snake my requests having spurned
But alas, it was then that I learned that the lawn snake was joined by more.
By the porch steps deep in slumber, other lawn snakes, three in number,
Rested peaceful, lying under the mailbox where I stood before.
“Leave this place,” I demanded, “Only this do I implore.”
Silence, then, and nothing more.

Sadly, then, I stood defeated, my hopes unheard or unheeded
And sadder still I left, retreated—retreated to my home, indoors.
And there I sat, my own thoughts haunted by the lawn snakes, there, undaunted
And the cruel way they flaunted, flaunted their presence, my ire’s source.
I went to bed, hopeful yet, but knowing that I should fear the worst.
A yard of snakes, forevermore.

Then the next morn, restless, weeping, I gave up my listless sleeping
Fearful of the lawn snakes keeping, keeping watch outside my front screen door.
Cautious, out the door I leaned, seeking out foes serpentine
For on that morning I did mean to drive to the nearest Walmart store
Where I could find the lowest prices on electronics, furniture, and more!©
There were no snakes there to report.

Courage strengthened, feeling daring, I walked outside, now uncaring
For any reptile at me staring as I walked across to open my car door.
“Silly snakes,” I sneered with wrath, “I do not fear you in my path
For if I’ve done the proper math the one of me can slay with ease you four.”
I reached the car with suited speed and knew I would no longer need
To fear the creature’s awful deeds as I once had before.
In fact, if I saw them again, I would--



I'm never going outside again.

Fin. That was the end of the poem. Again, I'd like to apologize. I don't even have a recipe.



  1. Hahahahaa! Brilliant!
    I can't believe I have to follow this masterpiece. See you tomorrow. :-)

    Melissa Ashby

  2. Well, Stephen...I have read this all the while seeing you boxer shorted and groggy. What a picture! I have to say I am impressed with your poem. EAP would be as well.