Snail Sonnet

September 20, 2013

Turning (heh,heh) from the subject of zombies for a moment, here’s a re-posted sonnet about snails, read earlier this week, as part of set at Weaving Words ( – a lovely night run by poet, Michelle Ferguson. In the course of the reading, conversation with an audience member drifted to the notion of zombie snails – and indeed, zombie gnomes. I am keen on snails (in a vegetarian way) and my mother used to collect gnomes. Zombie gnomes and zombie snails, the next natural step..

The following is written as a Shakespearian as opposed to Petrarchan sonnet, as I am of course addressing the British as opposed to Italian (Roman) gastropod.

Little Song
‘Snails were eaten by the Romans. They introduced many varieties into Britain, which eventually spread’ Snail City.

And when they came they came with Romans
in boats and crates, like papers curled,
but their shells were heavier than omens
and their ships set down with sighs unfurled.

And when they came they wanted to like it
but they didn’t like the weather or the food
and they couldn’t speak the language or make fit
what they had needed with the hostile mood.

Now each snail is a shell full of longing,
each garden a clearing of betrayal,
each ocean is a chasm of aching
for a snail that would drown if it tried to sail.

And this is their sadness, what all snails learn
their home’s on their back, but they can’t return.