Daniel G. Snethen

The February Featured Poet is Daniel G. Snethen

Please feel free to email Daniel at: snethen@hotmail.com



Death is a doll in a pink dress
peddling a rusty
red and white tricycle.

I first saw Death
peddling in the Colome
homecoming parade,
her pink dress
billowing in the wind,
whilst throwing candy
to all the bad little boys and girls—
just before Jim’s daughter
was accidentally backed over
by Glen
in the cherry-red fire-engine.

When Mother died
and I buried her in the pasture
I saw the doll-cyclist
laboriously climbing the tall sandy hills—
a pink spot in the distant horizon.

I could not tell, but I imagined
Death was grinning—
just like she did that day
when Glen
backed up the cherry-red fire-engine.

Last year, moments before
the Pettit kid died,
I heard a peculiar crunching noise.
It sounded like tricycle tires
plodding through loose gravel.

And today…
I’m really worried.
I thought I saw a flash
of pink and white and rusty-red
in my rearview mirror.


Charles Willeford escorted me to the white room.
Opened the door like a gentleman and closed
it behind me, but did not enter himself.

Renfield sat yoga-style in the center
of the alabaster floor in cream-colored pajamas
with green ribbon converted from abysmal trappings.

Albino cockroaches clung to the enameled walls contrasting
only with their ebony legs and setaceous antennae,
vainly searching for thigmotaxic crevices.

The chess board and its white squares populated
by two identical sets of white pawns; bishops; castles;
horses and royalty, deadlocked in discombobulated stalemate.

I, in my white jacket, stared through the one-way window
into another white room at my identical white-eyed twin
staring wide-eyed at my own reflection. 

All the while, Cream mesmerized us                               
from the massive metallic pallid machine overhead
as we swallowed white pill after white pill
administered by Van Helsing.


Allow them just to hang there.
A reminder of loneliness,
of pain—their pain and ours.

Let them hang there as martyrs
witness to the horror of living.

Daniel G. Snethen is an educator, naturalist, rancher and poet born and raised in South Dakota. He enjoys bird watching, reading and is a collector of vintage paperbacks--especially from the genres of science fiction, fantasy and horror. His absolute favorite work of literature is The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner.