Sunday, November 1, 2015


Tiger Snake 

in the country we discover
the twin bands of tiger snake ‒
it travels a pathway
to riverbank, a meal
of bird, duck, or gosling.

we watch and pause, the snake shy
of our company,

nothing eaten so far,
no error made, or tailbone struck
seems enough reason
for its leaving.

our chilled nerves and skin
are flensed in this scene, we know
one hundred reasons
to move quickly
from venom, or flash of tongue

our distinct reasoning
is to cross hill and highway
ascend well-built stairs
to quiet rooms
comfort,
sandwiches and tea,

relief,  shared between us.


The South Western Tiger Snake is a medium-large (maximum 1.8 metres) terrestrial elapid confined to the southern part of western W.A.They have a wide flat looking head and have a large square shaped frontal shield, smooth scales, a large single temporal scale, have a mid body scale row count of 17 to 21, has a single anal plate and single sub-caudal scales.  Body coloration is variable and can be any shade of grey, green, bronze to black.

Most specimens have body banding that can be bold and distinct, faint and indistinct, to some individuals that are completely pattern less. These bands can be either olive, brown, or yellow (which can look quite spectacular). This typical body banding is probably how the tiger snake got its common name in the beginning.

http://www.pilbarapythons.com/tigersnake.htm



3rd draft re-worked
Photographs © by Helen Hagemann

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Helen Hagemann's first literary collection, Evangelyne & other poems, was published by the Australian Poetry Centre in their New Poets Series 2009. 'of Arc & Shadow' is her second full collection published by Sunline Press. She has two e-books, The Joyous Lake & Par écrit: poetry of the feminine @ http://issuu.com/evangelyne/​​docs/joyous_lake/

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