By Gene Twaronite
I can take you further than a ship. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The Little Prince
I liked him from the start.
People don’t stop and talk
with snakes anymore, especially
about things that matter.
He wished to go home to
his little planet and the vain
silly rose he loved
more than life itself.
He asked me about my poison
and thought I was his savior.
But I wanted only to tell him a story
to live in for a time and forget.
He tried to make me bite,
but I slipped past him in a yellow flash.
I saw him faint and fall to the sand.
But he did not die.
He thought his body was
too heavy and his planet too far.
He thought he needed poison
to leave behind his mortal shell.
But he had everything he needed,
right there inside of him.
As he made his little planet live for me,
so he made it live again for himself.
And you don’t need a snake for that.
First published in New Myths https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/poems/the-yellow-snake
I Just finished rereading Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s classic tale The Little Prince. It is a book I have returned to many times, and I always find something new there. To those who think of this as merely a story for children, think again. It is a story that works on so many levels it defies classification. If you have somehow made it into adulthood without ever reading it, I urge you to find a copy before it is too late and you lose all connection to your childhood and turn into a fossil.
Here’s a poem I wrote after my recent visit with the prince:
My planet is a trifle bigger than
the one the Little Prince lives on.
Instead of just three, it has
a dozen volcanoes which erupt
in iridescent salute every time I
visit and never need cleaning.
Mine has a waterfall that falls
straight up into the sky where
the stars are always laughing.
There are baobab trees by
the score with roots going
deep as they please without
breaking up the place
and not a single sheep
to menace my one silly rose
visible only with the heart
who speaks to me when I’m sad.
And one yellow snake
when I want to go home.
First published in the literary journal Star*Line Fall 2019