The Snake Charmer is a 1907 oil painting by French Naïve artist Henri Rousseau (1844–1910). It is a depiction of a woman with glowing eyes playing a flute in the moonlight by the edge of a dark jungle with a snake extending toward her from a nearby tree.

Renewed every Summer,
The snake finally shed its
skin at 80.

The Neonate bore its ugly
head from the nest.
Primal with Life.
Its scales inherited definite hue.

One summer, nipped for fear,
A tooth fell, Venom Void,
it preyed on a Rat.
Rarely, do Rats show Courage.
This Rat scavenged on the
Neonate’s tail. Left to Bleed.

One Summer, nipped for Nectar.
Warts from sickly tail,
Met its end.
Snakelet, Primal with Life,
Slithered anew.

The Snake’s hood, STILL,
Held a vibration deep.
Primal with Life.
Followed its Need.
Charging upon Prey,
It Chanced a Charmer so keen.
It raised its head,
attempting to devour its meat.
Then while the Venom released,
The other tooth fell into
The Battle Ring.
Offguard, the Charmer snapped
Its head from behind with its fist.
Or so the story has been told,
Of how the Snake was Spayed.
Now rests in a basket,
With Darkness, without Grey.

Summer’s end,
The snake lies coiled with
the Gnawing Rat, Toothless.
Finally shedding its skin at 80.

Reincarnate like the Phoenix,
It set Fire to the Skies.

© 2020 Dhanlaxmi Goyal

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