by Daniel G. Snethen
Named after a farmer's dog,
the highest point in Canyon County,
Idaho is an ecological treasure.
play tag and chisel-toothed
kangaroo rats leave tail drags
in ancient volcanic ash.
Rear-fanged venomous spotted
night snakes and desert hairy
scorpions venture out after dark
in search of xerarch sustenance.
Giant turquoise blue centipedes
slither and slink like many-legged
diminutive serpents overhauling
slower, often larger prey, killing
them with venom before dining.
Black widows spin high tensile
strength silk over lava creating
sticky traps for ensnarement.
Rock wrens, woodrats, lizards,
ground nesting hawks and mound-
building formicide ants thrive
on barren rock devoid of water.
Jerusalem crickets and Mormon
ones too, eat what vegetation
there grows in this dry wasteland,
predated upon by habitat-destroying
dirt bikes and four-wheel drive trucks.
But the strangest creature,
to sojourn across this magma-
hardened bluff, the solpugiid,
or camel spider, looks like
a tailless tarantula-scorpion hybrid.
An odd arachnid, inviting
of the Idaho sun to get hotter
and even hotter, parching every other
living thing as he crawls unimpeded
through the moisture-less Idaho
hunting undeterred for whatever
he can capture in his massive
exoskeleton crushing jaws of death.
Daniel G. Snethen is
the owner and publisher of Darkling Publications. He serves as vice-president
of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. In May 2017, 10 pages of his poetry
was anthologized in Resurrection of a
Sunflower, a tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, curated by Catfish McDaris.
Snethen's poetry has been published by Bear
Creek Haiku; Cover of Darkness; Danse
Macabre; Dark Gothic Resurrected;
Haiku Journal; The Horror Zine; Miller's
Pond; Pasque Petals: Thirteen Myna
Birds, and several other
publishers of poetry. Snethen also coaches oral interpretation of literature
and Poetry Out Loud. He has qualified two high school students for the National
Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington DC and has had the SD State Poetry
Out Loud runner-up on two separate occasions. His favorite poet is William
Blake, and his favorite poem is “The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” by Samuel
Ann Marie Rhiel is the
Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in
Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for
art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey
ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work
has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.