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in collection Half a Field's Distance: New and Selected Poems,

2006, Shoestring Press, ISBN 978 1 904886 39 6




That banded snails should climb (if climb’s the word)

and stick like humbugs to damp trunks and boughs

of trees that edged the fields, we both referred

to as we trudged grass paths, passed barns and cows

and trailers over-stacked with bales, but talked

much more about the views, work, weather, what

to do when things fall short of plans you chalked

up (when you used to plan) for what should not

and should have happened to you by this age—

allowing, to a point, for parts that rhyme

and reason play.  We said how, for this stage,

we’d counted on a summit to the climb


and how each banded snail held onto bark

and knew (snail savvy) it had reached its mark.


Robert Etty


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collections -

"Planes Flying Over",
"Half a Field's Distance"
"The Blue Box",
Shoestring Press;

"Small Affairs on the Estate"
and "A Selection"
Pikestaff Press;

"Marking Places"
Slow Dancer;

"New Pastorals"
Frogmore Press;

"Hovendens Violets"
Littlewood Press


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