Albino Snail – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 22 – Earth Day

Haibun (tanka) for Albino Snail (powelliphanta)

Part of our history, a landmass isolated eighty
million years that keeps our characteristics unique.
Among the few that were left they found a rare albino
whose shell was a beautiful golden and brown.

Hermaphrodite,  an estimated
ten years and could live to twenty, grow to the size
of a man’s fist. It wasn’t just because you were albino
you were given your Latin name, and I shouldn’t smile
because he was a very studious man who gave so much
for snails whereas until seventy to eighty years ago we
knew so little. Sometimes though they are known as the
Mount Augustus snails, named its seems for both mountain
and man. Your story is beautiful; you lay eggs with hard shells.
You suck up worms like spaghetti and are therefore carnivorous.
But you were the white one where usually your kind have bodies
of black and among the shells colours red and black too. Sadly
you are at high risk, an endangered spies priority. See here a
picture of a woman arms stretched over hundreds of snail shells
which have been predated on the forest floors. I am thinking
of snails, big and small, Earth Day, two thousand, sixteen.

fenced wetland fields
pigs, possum, rat, weka
to be kept at bay;
safety measures
at high-altitudes

Benita H. Kape © 23.4.2016

*weka – another ground living NZ bird (more flighty than the kiwi)
And now for our (optional) prompt. Today’s prompt comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who also suggested our prompt for Day Seven. Today, Gloria challenges us all to write a poem in honor of Earth Day. This could be about your own backyard, a national park, or anything from a maple tree to a humpback whale. Happy writing!


Why Icebergs Melt & Humankind is in trouble – NaPoWriMo 2016, Day 21 – minor character in fairy story!


Why Icebergs Melt and Humankind is in Trouble
(Based on the story not of The Little Mermaid
but the fifth mermaid sister whose love of an
has iceberg has spiralled out of control.)

With a tale like mine it must be told, brief
and full of joy. No one knows that I have
a voice and my life, though it seems has
a limited span, lives on forever in other
form. I shared my story with all icebergs
like me. We are a mermaids’ sanctuary, and
we embrace the spirit, our hearts as sprite; as
these beautiful creatures of the sea. Not to be
feared by any, as told by the man Hans, who
lived in the far north in the land of mermaids
and icebergs.

I am the iceberg the fifth mermaid
chose to clamber upon on the magical
evening of her fifteenth birthday. Here
she released her hair to the lifting winds.
I could feel her heart beating. She had
no fear of that night. Lightning flashed
boldly across the sky, ships in full sail
in the distance. And I was part of it all
as about us the waves swept wild.

With dawn she slipped down my seaward
slope, calm, though her heart beat like the
softest lap of the ocean’s own calm. Her
oyster shell adornments, for she was a
mermaid of rank, her oyster shells were
clattering, sea-pulsing accompaniments
to her mermaid delight. I will return she
said, but I will return with five of me.

And they came. Every evening, the mermaids
five, rose arms entwined and they sang songs
of such incredible beauty. They know the
weather and sing to the sailors with whom
their sole wish is  to share the beauty of the
world of mermaids and icebergs like me.
Join with the beauty of icebergs, the whales,
the oysters, the foliage also. We would make
of the whole planet an ocean and its beauty.

My mermaid, the fifth daughter in the
mermaid family always adds her love
and her longing for one iceberg, one
on which she alone endorsed, composed
the melodies of the mermaids’ sanctuary.

And when icebergs melt back to the sea
we are happy, no heart’s ache to us. We
melt back to the ocean to be constantly
close to mermaids and in time hurry north
to become a frozen entity and take our
turn when the fifth daughters of the fifth
of mermaids who forever clamber our height
and let their hair stream free, waiting for
the storms which have grown enormously.
Storms which take the ocean further and
further inland. We would make the whole
planet an ocean and its beauty. The sailors
know it and they curse. They had long had
sufficient ocean and land as declared for
the needs of humankind.

Some men look with anger to mermaids
who every year melt icebergs as each fifth
mermaid longs for her icebergs’ embrace.
She would fill the whole planet for the
overwhelming love of an iceberg till
all the world is an ocean and she is in
the arms of her lover. And one day no
iceberg will return for their meeting as
one solid and one melting; all will be warm ocean.

Benita H. Kape © 22.4.2016
And now, for our prompt (optional as always!) Just as Rosa Jamila’s poems often sound like they come out of a myth or fairy tale (and not always one with a happy ending), today I challenge you to write a poem in the voice of minor character from a fairy tale or myth. Instead of writing from the point of view of Cinderella, write from the point of view of the mouse who got turned into a coachman. Instead of writing from the point of view of Orpheus or Eurydice, write from the point of view of one of the shades in Hades who watched Eurydice leave and then come back