Eternity and the snail

nine o’clock in the morning

and you’re late

it takes twelve giant steps

to cross the wide road

ninety-five babies to get to

the corner – seven skips round

and just one hop to squat

on the ground and wait for

the snail to…catch up

all creamy grey and tender

flesh that shrinks then swells

and very nearly topples

the delicately balanced shell…………………………………………………… …… smile

and in that endless moment

time shimmers in its track

Through the eyes of a child: exploring early memories

  1. Write for five minutes describing one of your earliest memories of the ‘natural’ world.
  2. Write for five minutes – describing the first journey you remember. (Don’t worry if the memory is incomplete e.g. it doesn’t matter if you don’t remember arriving at the destination.)
  3. Write for five minutes – describing the first room you remember
  4. Now go through what you’ve written and identify which of the 5 senses most often crop up spontaneously i.e. sight, sound, smell, taste, touch. Memory can show us our natural use of the senses. Are you drawn to one sense more than another? Or does it vary from piece to piece? Why do you think that is?


  • Try writing the memory in the present tense. This will help place you in the moment and give your writing a sense of immediacy.
  • Try writing the memory in the 2nd person (you), as if you are watching your younger self. This can give you a fresh angle on the memory as well as being a useful way of distancing yourself from autobiographical material.