Daniel G. Snethen

The April Featured Poet is Daniel G. Snethen

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black fur, scaly tail
I saw my first one stealing
stale orange cheese puffs
from a Metro hobo’s bag
in exchange, it left droppings


The space-traveler
searched the universe
for his unforgotten daughter.

He followed her path
across the galaxies.

The wake was horrific.
Suicide, drugs, guns,
lies, denial, forlorn love
and alien criminality.

Many times he held her
in his loving arms
only to lose her
again and again
to the ones
who should have loved
and protected her
but did not.

Even the moon violated her.

Though he could not always
hold her in his arms
the space-traveler always held her
in his massive heart.

And somehow that love
kept Ember’s glow
from burning out.

The haters, and the thieves,
jealous of their love,
accused them
of Nabokovian depravity.

And with each vicious
malicious act, the light
of Ember diminished
until it was barely visible—
even to the space-traveler’s
discerning eye.

Though he could not sense her light,
still he searched—
unwilling to believe
his Ember had been extinguished.

Finally, in the blackest black hole,
he found her broken
misshapen form—barely
capable of emitting light.

And his aged body
bent over her near
lifeless form
and he fanned his breath
over his beloved Ember.

Once again.
Ember began to glow
slowly, for what seemed
eons of celestial history.

But in time,
she became
the Phoenix
she was meant to be.

And the space-traveler,
emblazoned by love
for his Burning Ember,
died an exhausted man.

HAIKU (and the dead shall be eaten)

garish grinning ghouls
eat cemetery corpses
beneath a full-moon

Daniel G. Snethen is an educator, rancher, naturalist and poet born and raised in South Dakota.  His favorite horror author is Bram Stoker. Snethen has only read three novels which he found absolutely frightening, all three of them written by Bram Stoker: Dracula (read by candlelight), Lair of the White Worm and The Lady of the Shroud. Frightening but not absolutely so: Wolfshead (a collection of short stories) by Robert E. Howard, The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore, The Case of Charles Dexter Ward by H.P. Lovecraft and The Phantom Ship by Captain Frederick Marryat. Snethen's favorite piece of literature is The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his favorite poet is William Blake. Snethen is also the vice-president of the South Dakota State Poetry Society. He has a pet prairie rattlesnake named Witten who eats the mice trapped in his house.