The snails come by us, slow and navigate
their turns, glide up the chair, and slide away
to seek soft shade where they will pause and mate
the way their forebears always have: by rules
their genes dictate, for them a simple task
they need not ponder with their large brain cells.
Compared to us they have few cells to mask
whatever fear or lust or love that dwells
within their minds and shells and silvered drool
that they must admire when trekking in the dew.
Perhaps — who knows? — they think we are the fool
to have such tiny brain cells as we do.
Both species share the same atomic plight:
such empty cells can seldom reflect light.
How many colours populate this place?
Four russet shell-less snails assist my count.
White flowers proffer broad flat leaves
that boast greens enough for myriad gowns.
Most of the blooms host hordes of well-shelled snails,
each shell a riotous, tasteful blend of browns
between bands depicting darker shades of dawn.
The arborvitae’s hues are too complex
to count their variations on dark green.
The berry bushes burst with red and black.
The stonewall stonewalls colour, but its hues
of sand and shadow backdrop one red rose
whose perfect-flower edge descends to brown
as what was bud then bloom moves to decay.
The russet snails, like sea lions seen from planes,
seem all immobile less I really look.
One turns its head; antennae sample wind.