Snake in the Grass

High noon on a torrential autumn day.
My friend Ginnie, her three kids,
a 4000 dollar carpet
in their cordoned-off living room,
are due to arrive for dinner at three.
Our only toilet graces the upstairs hallway
like a Grecian urn.
The plumber tells us rent a snake.
My husband tells me cancel the company.
I tell my husband, eye round is in the oven.
He tells me go to ...
the basement; yell, when the snake
slithers down the pipe.

My two and three year old daughters
stand behind me by the washing machine;
we keep watch like the three wise men.
Isn't it down there yet? he shouts.
It should be in China by now.
We hear a rattling. Its coming,
the kids cheer, jump up and down.
We see no snake. Outside the rain
is thick as fools. Another rattling.
We look up at the muddied casement,
yards and yards and yards of snake
puddle in the well like coiled oil.
I tell my husband, Outside.
Outside? he bellows.
He thunders down the stairs
like a stallion in heat. The slimy viper shimmied
through the vent and out the roof.

    Liz Dolan

Risky Behavior

After his future brother- in- law's
bachelor bash at the Taj Mahal,
Mike abandoned the boys.
Couldn't find his room key,
couldn't find his car key either.
He slept on the hood of his car.
Rolling over, he slid four floors
to the concrete below.
Caught on film, he was smiling.
Maybe he fancied himself Louganis
jack-knifing into the hotel pool,
or Weissmuller diving out of a tree.
But then he looked surprised,
a flying Wallenda
missing his sister's outstretched hand

    Liz Dolan


   I saw two enormous moths mate,
  With five-inch wings swallow-tailed
   The male was on top of the female
Hunching with a horrible animal vigor.
 A picture of utter degradation it was.
 They live under the constant pressure
   That hungers & lusts and drives
         one to one's own death.
   They eat to fuel the surge to sex
    To pump out billions of moths,
  A terrible force for birth & growth.
We, the escapees of the amoral world
     Wake in terror, eat in hunger.
 Our emotions are painful & harmful,
The animals have a bonus point in that.

    Ram Mehta


Nature is as careless as it is bountiful
The faster the death, the faster is evolution.
A female eats her own fertile eggs
If she is hungry while laying the eggs.
The Gall gnat produces eggs within its body
Which when hatched devour their parents.
The sea is a cup of death
And land is a stained alter stone,
We are the fortunate survivors
Living on flotsam and jetsam
Right or wrong is a human concept.
Nature cares not if we live or die
It is fixed, blind, and programmed to kill

    Ram Mehta

The Old Coat

After a long time,
I took out my coat
From the hanger.

I found a long hair
Still in the collar.
What an intoxicating smell,
Of Bocheron perfume.

I wore the coat,
During the last winter,
I do remember.

    Ram Mehta

Dr. Ram Mehta was born in Dwarka, India. Retired after a career as an English professor in India, Dr. Mehta now splits his time between India and North America. He has won poetry prizes and been published in several countries including India, Canada, and the United States.

Liz Dolan, now living in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, spent 25 years in Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, and says the she "misses the trees and the hills."

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