Issue 8, Spring 1955
The hooded cobra floating over the leaves
flicking his delicate forked tongue in rings
above bent mosses where his body swings
in powerful convolutions. The scaly scarp
or his flat diamond head forswears his sharp
flickering pointed eyes
relaying all surprise
through coiling coils to his mouth’s elastic sheath
tissued over his venomed teeth.
Who made the hooded cobra king,
acknowledging the purple of his sting?
His jeweled hood insures compulsive thrones
crowning the dusty stones;
gliding through moulds of spotted shade and dew
his body makes a shining retinue.
Jehovah, Allah, wherefore have you sung
if by this passioned watcher we may still be stung?