The Hypnotist

I am a snake charmer

My father was a snake charmer

And his father and all the fathers

Who came before.

I have inherited the gift

Of charming snakes.

I tame them. I make them dance.

People say that I hypnotise them

But they would be wrong. 

I play my pungi 

I breathe in and out


I sway from side to side 

I fix them with my gaze 

But, if truth be told 

It is always the snake 

Who is the hypnotist

And I the willing victim. 

The bond formed in that union of 

Gaze, music, rythm and sway

Is unbreakable on either side. 

Once entered, there can be no treachery,

No subterfuge. No turning back.

Within that hypnotic spell 

The whole universe gathers around us. 

The God of men and Naga, the great snake God, 


Hold fast.

Cataclysms halt.

Harmony ensues.

A shared moment in time.

Who lets go first?

The Hypnotist or the hypnotised?

The charmer or the charmed?

It is never clear.

The wave rises and the wave subsides.

I am a snake charmer and

By snakes I am charmed.

◄ You and Me

The Hypnotist ►


jennifer Malden

Fri 19th Apr 2019 20:08

Loved this - can be read in many ways. Jennifer

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Hazel ettridge

Fri 19th Apr 2019 14:20

Hi Jason, thank you for commenting. I think this poem was about more than snakes - I think it's about love and intimacy.

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Hazel ettridge

Fri 19th Apr 2019 14:18

Hi Steve, yes that phrase could easily be left out - it just fitted with the weird little rhythm that was going on in my head at the time.

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Jason Bayliss

Fri 19th Apr 2019 11:06

I love the insight into the mutual dance of snake and charmer Hazel. I've always thought of it as more of a dance of intellect vs venom and lightning speed. Although I prefer the snakes to be in their own environment. Great poem.

J. x

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