Water moccasin along lower Apalachicola River with tan stain from river mud, by Doug Alderson

By Anonymous

Serpentine dread

In ebb-tide marsh,

Swamp-forest thicket

And the collard patch             

Behind the shed,


Yet stalked

By the conceit of concrete

Hardening its diminishing realm                        

Of halcyon paradise:

Emerald frogs, silver fishes

And a spider’s golden thread.

Where spirit voices

Of covert waters and wood

Breathe heated life 

Of primal need.


Coil of life,

Coil of death,

Venom to fade day

Into velvet night.



To vilify the viper’s strike

Is to vilify the blackbird’s night-song,

The dragonfly’s jeweled flight

Or the warmth of summer soil,

Each a harmonious note

In the Godly hymn of life.


Click here for more information about the water moccasin and how to distinguish it from other water snakes.

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