Charles Thompson

O Snail

Like lightning

 

the swifts above

 

and the swallows too

 

Like lightning

 

thus

 

and

 

thus

 

And then I look at you

 

 

O traveller

 

O guardian of yourself upon

 

a track of slime

 

your singular long muscular

 

foot

 

O snail! Slow one!

 

How, spotting one of your kind

 

upon a greening path

 

a healing witch woman

 

beside her croft on a Highland

 

with transporting tenderness of fingers

 

bamboozled you to wilding grass

 

- so far

 

so far -

 

your relatives live

 

from ditches, deserts to the abyssal sea -

 

and now  you decide

 

whether you are hungry

 

and whether there is food about

 

and  wait

 

and feed at night

 

upon

 

organic matter

 

fungi

 

lichens

 

green foliage

 

apples

 

how you chew

 

with your thousands of microscopic teeth,

 

your radula,

 

 with your jaw

 

and then you slumber too

 

and wake

 

and in courtship

 

play

 

with another sexy snail

 

You hermaphrodites

 

 

Like lightning

 

the swifts above

 

and swallows

 

flickering

 

too

 

hey

 

and ho

 

about they go

 

and then I look at you

 

you have your own tune too