Hi, my name is Alys Jackson and I'm a poet and writer

based in Adelaide, South Australia.

My work has been published in magazines,

anthologies and online.



Limbless, flexible reptiles with overlapping scales,

lidless wonders that swallow food whole.

and did you know they shed their skin?

Neither did I!

And their skin so dry.

Not slimy as the snake-haters claim.

They’re carnivorous, of course, and I make no apology,

they’re in perfect tune with reptilian ecology.

With flexible jaws, their prey can be huge.

Deer? No sweat – for an anaconda,

and even a jaguar’s not beyond her

  • capacity to swallow.

She’s able to unhinge her jaw, you see.

Quite a feat.

And with three thousand species

they’re common-old beasties.

And did I mention their ears are internal?

Not like our unwieldy flaps, collecting dust and filling with wax.

You’ll find them in deserts, forests and trees,

hunkered in lakes and skimming the seas.

I love them, each and every one,

even the few that bite.

But I have to admit it is disconcerting

to come home and find a brown snake inserting

itself in a hole in my skirting.


Even I object to that!

18 thoughts on “Snakes

  1. Dear Alys jackson,
    this poem reminded me of the time when me and my cousin saw a black snake. it all started when me and my cousin were playing chasey. after awhile I ran into the grass then I hear a hissing noise. i looked down and saw he black snake slithering through the grass. I couldn’t believe my eyes. even my cousin saw it. we ran for are lives!!! It ends up the snake was a baby but ti was long a scary.

    kind regards Tirath.

    • Wow, Tirath, fancy seeing a snake when you were playing a game! That must have been quite a shock. No wonder you ran. I have seen many snakes in the wild, but usually when I was watching out for wildlife on bush walks. Somehow it’s not so scary if you are looking for animals. Plus, I actually quite like snakes 🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍 Alys

  2. Hi Alys,
    I like this poem because it made me learn more about snakes. It’s really scary to imagine a snake entering your place. I hope that didn’t happen in real and if that is true story then what did you do after ?

    • Luckily NOT a true story, Ishrit. Last year we had a snake in our back garden and we had to call the snake catcher. He was very gentle with the snake and let it go somewhere far away. It’s nice to know that you learned something from the poem. I learned from writing it! Alys 🐍🐍🐍

    • Yes, Sanuli, I do like snakes, although I’m careful not to get too close. I like cacti too which are VERY prickly. Maybe I just like spiky things? Alys🐍🐍🐍

  3. Hi Alys
    I like this poem and I like it because you can learn new things and you
    put a lot of interesting facts in it. I got 3 questions. did you have to do
    a lot of research to write this poem?
    what gave you the idea of writing this poem in the first place?
    Do you really like snakes?

    • Hi Tiaana, yes, I love snakes. Maybe because I was born in the year of the snake, according to the Chinese – Apparently, people born in the year of the snake are intelligent and wise. They are good at communication but say little. Hmmmm, not sure about ‘wise’. Anyway, that’s why I wrote this poem. Oh, and I did loads and loads of research!! Alys 🐍🐍🐍🐍🐍 🙂

  4. Scary to have a snake in the house, that’s a lot of snakes variety. I didn’t know that their ear is inside. It would be cool to see a snake disconnect it’s has and eats a whole animal

    • Yes, snakes are pretty amazing animals, Brian. I didn’t realise that they don’t hear in the way we do. They ‘hear’ or rather feel vibrations which is why teachers sometimes tell students to stamp their feet as they walk through the woods. Alys 🙂

  5. I got goose bumps when reading your poem having a snake in the house, no thanks.
    I didnt know that there was so many speices of snakes, it was great to hear you explain their habitat.

    • Poor you. I’m sorry the poem gave you goose bumps, Xavier! We had a brown snake in our garden this summer. Our neighbours called the snake catcher to safely move it to another place. Luckily none in the house 🙂 Alys

  6. Hi Alys,
    I liked this poem even though I don’t like snakes. I have learnt lots of facts about snakes from this poem. Once we had a baby snake in our house and we caught that snake. I certainly learned a lot. This poem actually told facts that I didn’t know.


    • Thank you Japleen. It’s good to know that you learned something new and WOW – you had a snake in your house?? We had a snake in our garden this summer, and our neighbours called a snake catcher to take it somewhere where it could live in peace. 🙂 Alys

    • I’m not sure the exact number, Vinuk, but I have read that there are over 3,400…That’s a lot! Alys 🙂

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