The Thistle and the Snail


Next door they have planted thistles

I say thistles

but they’re more like globe artichokes
       but taller - much taller
     eight, perhaps ten feet tall

a bit like knapweed really
with their tufts of purple flowers

when I think of triffids
plants like these come to mind

they could quite easily
detach themselves from the soil
and walk in a menacing way
towards a vegetal Armageddon.

Their seed-heads are like medieval maces -
brutal - barbaric

halfway up one of the stalks
on a broad half-eaten leaf
a snail is munching peacefully

     does he not know
     the danger that he’s in ?

probably not

he clings in his coiled way to what he knows
and what he knows suffices and sustains.