Poem: The Serpent – Monday Prompt #14

 Bamboo "forest"

This is a look at the different approach between the East and the West in regards the serpent.

The Serpent

Whilst walking down the beaten path
Just minding my own business
I came upon the oddest sight
A serpent in a bright kimono!

He bowed to me and then he smiled.
He said: “Hello fair mistress!
Can I be of some service to thee,
maybe answer for you a question?”

My first instinct was to fly away
but curiosity got the best
and so I replied most warily
“Are you the devil’s best?”

“Oh no!” He cried, quite distressédly,
“No such creature ever existed!
If you’d known your Taoist philosophy
you’d know that I am wisdom!

“For ages since that Moses guy
wrote his wondrous history
I’ve been trod upon by everyone
except for a certain Gadsden.”

“Now I don’t know why the western folks
so hate the thought of knowledge.
But it’s clear to me as I read that book
that women held the wisdom.”

“So, listen to me, if just this once
and then relay the tale.
Knowledge is the forbidden fruit
for those who aren’t dominant!”

The serpent in his gaudy robes
then bowed to me and said
“Wisdom and knowledge are the only tools
to build a people’s freedom.”

The serpent slithered into the woods
leaving me to ponder
just how I’d tell his tale to you
and not be called a liar!


Prompt: Using the poetry form of your choice, take a well-known and verifiable fact and turn distort it.  For example, it is well-known (and verifiable) to all of us that if you jump, you will fall, as you are subject to the Law of Gravity.  What you would do with this fact is distort it into something fanciful, something totally unbelievable.  That is, tell a nontruth about this fact.  Make something up – anything!  And don’t be shy!  Make this as farfetched as you like.  The point here is to push yourselves as far beyond outright ridiculousness as you can while still creating a meaningful piece.

16 thoughts on “Poem: The Serpent – Monday Prompt #14

  1. This is a perfect twist! It makes me realize how little I know about Eastern culture. However, I once made a serpent costume for a Halloween parade with my siblings and cousins, just because we thought it was cool. Who knew we were a portrait of wisdom? I’ve just learned something new. I’d say you are the wise one. Very nice poem 🙂


    • I’ve thought about this strange difference for a long time….and if you know anything about the good book, it says because Eve was tempted to eat feom the tree of knowlege (between what’s good and bad)…they were expelled from Eden (I won’t even talk about that weak irresponsable creature Adam) because the angels warned the old gentleman that, if they ate from the tree of life, they’d have been immortal just like them (angels?) put this together with the Chinese Taoist symbol for wisdom (and the ancient greek symbol for example that we still see portrayed on the staff of doctoes) and you have to sit back and reflect…or at least I did. Glad you liked it. By the way…did you talk about blowing bubbles recently with me?


  2. Pingback: Monday Poetry Prompt #14 Results! | We Drink Because We're Poets

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