A Poem by Terpsichore

In rain I walk and feed.
My one foot sliding, gliding.

I move slowly, ghostlike.
Floating edges grazing the ground
like the skirts of a settling hovercraft.

I am burdened by encapsulating shell
which I utilise with mysterious ease.
Drawing back and recoiling
from sharp stones, from grass spears.

My body is pallid, lightly scaled.
with probing detectors
Ever-Searching feelers.
I am cold as ice
waxed and rhythmic.
A blind scare-head,
a four-horned deity.

I press the earth,
suck it hard.
My shell is glazed and shining,
high coils of precious beauty
with curled lips of finest enamel
that are silky smooth.

My wake shines and glistens.
An opalescent ribbon that
charts my nocturnal journey.
I am blind and cannot see,
but I know
Where I have been.

© 2016 Terpsichore

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WOW! WOW! And WOW! I would have NEVER thought to describe a snail in such glowing terms! I hate snails, so I find it very creative to take the approach you did . . . not just being complimentary, but elevating the snail to deity level adoration, kind of in a tongue-in-cheek way, I suspect, as you must know these things creep most people out, almost as if you're digging into us who are creepin' out intentionally, challenging us to see the beauty in these gross slimy slugs! "Hovercraft" is a brilliant word choice, as is the lovely phrase: "suck it hard" . . . that whole section has a rhythmic snappiness that makes it feel like an ode to the snail. Challenging approach strongly executed! (((HUGS))) Fondly, Margie

Posted 2 Years Ago

Stunning imagery--starkly accurate.
A clever, creative and decidedly unique piece of work.
One unforgettable read!

Posted 3 Years Ago

All snails should feel proud, now that a poem has been written about them. (A first?) Reading the various notes below, some interesting things are said, especially that you were inspired after having observed one make its way across your patio. What a laborious way to travel, all the while dodging french chefs, hedgehogs, toads, birds, and any traces of salt.

Posted 3 Years Ago

Not about snails more about life. This, I feel, should not be taken too literally. And that in my view makes it a greater poem. That last line is a corker by the way.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago

I did actually write this after observing a snail wending its torturous way across my patio; but yes.. read more
A lovely sympathetic portrait of an oft hated creature. My kids are actually fascinated by insects and reptiles and mollusks. You wouldn’t believe how difficult it is to find field guides and informative texts about land snails. Plenty about water mollusks and such, but the land snail is much more difficult to garner in-depth knowledge about— aside from simple observation.

All that to say, I admire this poem. Many a humble creature out there that serves a purpose maybe we don’t understand. That doesn’t make its purpose any less important in the grand scheme. Excellent exploration.

Posted 3 Years Ago


3 Years Ago Lots of info about the little creatures.

It was late.. read more

3 Years Ago

Thanks for the link, T. Very cool
This is really quite stunning T. Your combination of meticulous observation of our slippery fellow creature and your superb poetry is lovely. How many of us are too self absorbed with no time to stand and stare. A while ago I did a prose piece on a slug called 'Between heaven and earth' in the same vein. I think your poem has hopefully inspired some of us to open our eyes.

Posted 3 Years Ago

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What empathy you have for us ssmall little creatures of the earth :) This made me smile :)

Posted 6 Years Ago

Had to smile at this one. When a child those snails fascinated my brother and me. Haven't seen one in years. Valentine

Posted 7 Years Ago

And boy, do we use that shell to protect us from so much more than the elements... Great imagery and metaphor here, T!

Posted 7 Years Ago

This is so fascinating!! this is a great coincidence, a week ago i saw a snail in the garden, observed it for a long long time and fell in love with it. then i came home and told my family i was going to keep a pet snail. Now i've actually lived for a moment as a snail. the details are simply exquisitel! I have a newfound respect for these precious little creatures. Beautiful work!!

Posted 7 Years Ago

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21 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on May 10, 2016
Last Updated on May 10, 2016



London, United Kingdom

Nothing much to tell really. I work in the city, boring, but lucrative enough to enable me to spend most weekends away from the place. I enjoy writing, reading equally as much. Like retro style cloth.. more..


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