Sacred Nights: Ophidia

POEM: Don’t (Listen)

Don’t listen to me, I’m just a snake.
Don’t listen to me, the god said not to, and what do I know about fruit, anyway.
Don’t listen to me, I am a worm and no man.
Don’t listen to me, I just crawl on my belly and lick the dust.
Don’t listen to me, I’m just a puppet crowned with dyed horsehair.
Don’t listen to me when I twine around your leg.
Don’t listen to me when I rise up your spine.
Don’t listen to me when I writhe between your thighs.
Don’t listen to me when I curl around your neck.
Don’t listen to me when I whisper in your ear

That you could be more than this
That you could stand taller
That you could swing your hips more freely
That you could reach wider, farther
That wings could sprout from your shoulders
as serpents engulf your feet
and a light could shine from your heart
to the very edges of the cosmos

Don’t listen to me
what do I know
I’m just a snake
just a reptile with no legs
all spine, eyes, mouth
just a cold-blooded wriggler
just a symbol of the phallus
or knowledge, or wisdom
or cosmic potential
rising out of the darkness
the underworld, the dirt
only a snake
never mind
don’t listen to me




On this day, the serpent’s day, the Glykonalia, let us give praise to Glykon.
If you are mad, Glykon will bring you sanity.
If you are sane, Glykon will drive you mad.
If you are mentally ill, Glykon offers healing.
If you believe you are well, and that your view is the only correct view,
Glykon will derange your mind.
If your back is stiff, Glykon’s dance will help you to loosen.
If you are a spineless idiot, Glykon will put some backbone into you.
If you have the plague, Glykon’s embrace will cure you.
If you are afraid of contagion, Glykon’s sweet bite will rot your bones.
If you fear the snake, you will never know yourself.
If you fear yourself, you will never dance with Glykon.
Son of Asklepios, son of Apollo, son of Zeus,
honor the green-scaled, golden-haired one,
the laughing snake deity, the sock puppet that moves on its own.
Honor Glykon, sweetest of serpents,
honor him with sweets and laughter,
and you will be well.