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The Snake ©

Paul Murdoch
Alexandria, Scotland
2004

Tempestuous souls writhe and squirm as dawn reveals its glow,
Like snakes within, they wake before us.
Steadfast and ready to hold us back from the brink of day,
their dead eyes dull and lacklustre.
Yet again, they prepare for us to stumble upon another salient moment.
"You don't deserve it; breath barer.
You don't deserve the wish you've squandered.
Already, before your blue eyes flicker,
you stir and smile at the animal you are."
Frustrated, impatient, the night is their friend.
But they can do nothing as they stretch and curl;
a gasp, a bead of sweat; no more.
"One day I'll keep you here, in dreamland.
Only then will I reveal myself to you.
I've counted them, you know, the good things and the bad.
Through the years, I've added up the points against you.
But it's not you who'll pay the price.
It is I."
Now my sun is at your window,
and as the winds of this world rattle your frosted panes;
you groan at the thought of another day.
"How dare you!
You've been blessed and born.
Do you know how long I had to wait?
Eons; a million of your lifetimes I lingered in the abyss;
and you dare to moan!"
The radio bursts inside your head and it's gone.
Banished from your thoughts and cares.
The world now overtakes you;
the busy, busy world that is, in fact, your grand illusion.
But allowed to sigh and stare, and worry, and laugh, and lust, and...
Allowed to live, you will never remember the snake within.
Are we blind to the essence of life,
distracted by the struggle of our existence?
Of course we are.
As you wake, seek not the food of life;
kiss not the weary lips of your lover.
Their snake will only bite you;
drip venom in your coffee.
Best not to think on such things,
the ones that linger deep in bottomless caverns,
for they may tempt you from your path.
Keep on breathing, for that was your wish, your desire.
Live your dream and feel the morning air caress you.
Rejoice and revel in the gift of every waking moment,
for the serpent sleeps again,
and ignorance is your friend.


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