What Little Boys Are Made Of

The snail is full of himself. 
In a good way. Self-contained. 
Persistently forging new 
mucous tracks, like a tank 
going over, not around. 
Birds see tiny Nazca lines. 
It’s hard to see the same sense 
of purpose in a slug. Just 
squelch and flaccid shrivel. But 
mating leopard slugs entrance 
with their balletic coiling, 
on a dangling string of slime. 
On the subject of slobber, 
the Labrador leaves a lot 
when his head rests on your knee. 
Eyes yearning for love — and food. 
Thumping tail wag. Solid dog. 
Full of girth, bound and nuzzle. 


Ruth Payne calls two peninsulas home: Miramar in Wellington where she lives with her husband and daughters; and Portland in Dorset where she goes back to visit her English family. She has completed modules towards a Diploma in Creative Writing from Whitireia Polytechnic and recently attended the ‘Writing the Landscape’ workshop at the IIML.