Thursday, January 18, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Crushing Snails

This week's challenge was to take a line from another Poetry Thursday contributor's poem and use it in our own work. I was instantly inspired by the very first line left on the comments page. That's very typical of me. The first thing I come across tends to end up becoming the right option.

The line that captured my imaginaton was the wonderfully tactile "crushing snails against stone" from this poem by blogger Sarala. So here goes:

Crushing Snails

She finds him
crushing snails against stone.
He bears no malice, just
childish curiosity, a
fascination with the
viscosity of smeared
grey gastropod.

When she was his age
she used to dread walking
through the garden at night
for fear of the inevitable
crunch under foot, but
not her son. He
holds no attachment to
the niceties of intact
cabbage eaters nor
appreciation of the
responsibilities arising
from the omnipotence of
superior human size.

Later that evening
they scrape the now
dried and somewhat crusty
remains into an empty
cigarette packet and
dig a small hole under
a chewed head of

She cannot
remember the Lord’s Prayer
but they hold hands and
improvise and together
give the snails the
kind of send-off they
no doubt have earned.


Rethabile said...

You write well. I guess that's why your line appealed to me and I used it. Cheers.

........deb said...

You've not only made the line your own, here, but have given grace to a small but remarkable event. I do so like that. Well done.

sarala said...

This is wonderful. We traded lines I realized after looking for the source of the line I used.
I like you take on boys and childhood curiosity.

twilightspider said...

Lovely. For some reason, the opening of the final stanza just rings for me. As if the small grief of the snails' deaths is punctuated ever so slightly by a forgotten prayer.

This is an exquisite bit of storytelling.

sarala said...

I agree it is amusing we swapped poems. I'll come back too.
I was in New Zealand once in my early 20's. I loved your country. It was unbelievably beautiful and the people were very nice. I have a dream to do a sabbatical in New Zealand but I have a lot of dreams that will probably never come true.

Michelle Fry said...

I love your poetry thursday poem. It has great imagery begining with the very first line and continuing through the brocholi and the hand holding to pray. Nicely done.