From dragon to snake

Although I’m not a huge follower of astrology I do love reading my horoscope, even if just to scoff at the predictions or lack of relevance to my life.  So with the Chinese New Year this Sunday naturally my first response is to completely trivialise the event by reading about the predictions for the coming year.  (The most compelling piece I read was at the huffington post but if you’d like a more traditional horoscope format try here or here.)  But there is also something quite poetic about assigning an animal to each year.  Last year, a time of great upheaval for me, was represented by the dragon, and I found myself imagining a dragon crashing through the seas much like the mythical Jormungundr.  2013 is represented by the black water snake, which signifies amongst other things, a clash of elements, of fire in the water, but also a period of personal growth.  The image I have from this is a progression from my previously mentioned thoughts on the dragon.

Sun stabs though the surf,
blazes past a lacework of coral
into a sea of kelp, flame red
and flickering in the current.
The frozen fire branches scrape
against obsidian scales
and the old skin crackles,
sheds, sinks to the sandy depths
as the serpent climbs the waves:
a scaly head glides through foam
a slender tongue fingers the breeze
to taste the sun on the salty air.

What the sea snake will bring remains to be seen, but I hope that we all at least get at least a little portion of happiness in the months to come.  Wishing you all a happy and healthy Chinese New Year!


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