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!