Naked Snails

Expressed by Andrew Roberts

A German word for slug is Nacktschnecke.
Nackt means naked.
Schnecke is snail.
A Nacktschnecke is a snail without its
Schneckenhaus (snail house) (shell).

have another donkey ride


Nacktschnecke, or
Slug on the Banks of Green Willows.

The beautiful body
Of the naked snail
Endears the earth.

My body

Intense self hatred.
A vehicle takes my body
For burning.
Death. Decontamination.
Last time someone has to touch me.
The earth is cleaned.

The beautiful body
Of the naked snail
Endears the earth,
As green willows grow
In memorial to my non-existence.

Welsh slugs play music
And Belle (dog) will take 
you for a walk
North West American
slugs urgently seek names -
Take a walk with biology students
from Gresham High school


I want somebody to hold you
Ever so warm and so tight

I want somebody to carry you
Safely through each night

I want that body to whirl you
To music from the spheres

And I want that body to go with you
Dancing through the years

I want somebody to hold you
Ever so warm and so tight

And I want somebody to carry you
Safely through dark nights

A Song of Creation

Sometimes, I thought,
I will experience the poem and not write it.
And I thought this in a vision of hating me
That became a loving of me.
I saw myself hating me like the sky:
Like the wonderful clouds that ride on its waves.
I saw myself becoming part of creation,
Of loving me from the source of my waters,
Through all of their beautiful flow to the ocean of death.
I will love me, I thought, with the strength of these waves
That break, in life's storm, on my land.
And I held my hand up to the force of the gale
And I loved me, and the poem seems to have been written.


I dreamt my freedom in the trees.
Felt it in a branch of oak.
With soaring lombardy poplar spires,
Heard it when the aspen spoke.

I smelt it in the summer leaves
Rich with their moisture, heavy weighed.
I smelt it in the grassless floor
Where miles of bluebell mould are laid.

Freedom drops and spirals down
When seeds of sycamore take wing,
And twists and flies when guns of gorse
Into the heated haze their bullets fling.

I found my freedom in the summer,
Or when the autumn showed her smile.
When winter grinned, or in the spring
Wandering in some wood awhile.

Two years then passed engrossed in human dreams.
Confused, but fighting on, I read these lines again.
And in the memory of heavens past,
I smelt the woodland freedom once again.


It's raining,
It's raining blessings,
It's raining loving,
It's raining laughter.

It's raining,
My body's dancing,
My heart is laughing,
My eyes are crying.

It's raining,
My hair is soaking,
Your flesh is shining,
And we are fucking.


The hand of my mother
On the cradle of life.
The pulse of my maker
Now beating within.
The waves of the sea
In the breath that is me.

Healing kisses

I love you like the God who made the skies
I love you like the God who in us lies
I love you like the ocean depth below
And I love you like the mountains under snow

I love you like a kiss upon a cheek
And I love you like a cheek that seeks a kiss
I love you in our joy and in our pain
Like dying seed and swiftly sprouting grain

I love you when we meet and when we part
And I love you very close or far apart

I love you, Oh I love you, Oh I love you.

Valerie Argent's Young Eve

Valerie Argent's Young Eve
Valerie Argent's Young Eve

Pounding Steel and Plastic Spoon

Through the fire flecked land,
Under the sunset sky,
By pounding steel, by pounding steel, by pounding steel,
The inter-city express from Sheffield to London at 19.30 hours
Is taking me away from the industrial north.

With pounding scream, with pounding scream,
She runs implacable over the steel,
Past blue clouds billowing from nearby chimneys,
Past far of smoke in the burning sky,
Through the fields - and the cold, cold grass.

By pounding steel, by pounding steel, by pounding steel,
Taking me away from the grey-blue hills
And the bulging slag heaps.

Around the silver streak of the pounding track,
The blackness of evening rises in the cuttings.
Black branches of shrubs finger the twilight sky from the dark embankments,
Finger the soft serene of the steel blue sky -

As the silky scream of the pounding steel of the railway line,
By pounding scream, by screaming steel,
Is taking me away from the fires burning in the evening mists.
By pounding steel, by pounding steel -
Is taking me away.
Taking me away - And putting the fires out.

This is the London Express
The buffet car in the centre of this train
Is now open
For the service of light refreshments and drinks
Thank you

All is black beyond the window now,
As I stir the coffee in the disposable plastic cup
With a plastic spoon that bends in the coffee heat.


When God made violins, she ran a bow of joy along the edge of sorrow, making crests of waves break in foam along the beach of the deep sea, moving the quivering flesh of the silver swimmer to wade into the lonely ocean alone in her dark, deep, hungry, maw.

Valerie Argent's Young Eve


When God made pianos, he made rippling water and dripping taps, and your fingers playing in the small of my back as heavy feet crunch through the snow and the woodman pounds his axe and the great trees fall and shivering leaves die slowly on the silent, listening, air.

Valerie Argent's Young Eve


When God made voices, the glades were filled with song, the sparrows rose and tumbled, loving as they fell from the air, and the bee stung a naked behind. Babies cried, lungs wide with pain or joy, work made and armies razed, churches praised, and children gave nursery rhyme to God.

Valerie Argent's Young Eve


When God made percussion, the divine hips thumped, divine legs jumped and matter humped the air. Fingers throbbing on the kettle drums, belly and back shimmering bare in the rhythm of the tambourine, divinity rocked and shuddered flesh. He galloped through her dancing dreams, as only a deaf drummer dare.

Valerie Argent's Young Eve

The Sacred Fire

My friend seemed to be dying.
Then he recovered.
Then he died.

After the resurrection:

He lay, in a bed I had made,
A month undiscovered.
Then he was found.

After the crucifixion:

We burnt the bed in his garden,
Soaked with his body fluid,
Buzzing with flies.

After the decomposition:

A stinking mattress,
A garden bonfire.
My friend was in them.

In the sanitation:
Last communion.


Do you hear the singing
At the birth of the day?
Can you hear the music
That is coming this way?
Feel the rhythm
That is throbbing today
As we dance the movements
Of the morning.

There is a melody
Slices through our life:
Peels off the rubbish,
Like a sharpened knife.
Can you feel a tingling
Waiting for the cut?
So vibrant plays the music
We are living.

Here is lovely lullaby
Lulling you to sleep.
Here is where pink angels
Into rhythms creep.
This is where our poems
Into darkness leap.
Listen to the lyrics
We are dreaming.

The manual

Hair is for combing and weaving.
Skin is for stroking and dressing.
Eyes are for looking and seeing.
The lids are for fluttering,
and shutting when sleeping.
Ears are for hearing and nibbling.
Noses for smelling, rubbing and blowing.
Lips are for whistling, humming and smiling.
Mouths are for eating, speaking, kissing.
Throats are for clearing, coughing and singing.

Necks are for licking, nuzzling, necking and stretching.
Shoulders for baring, rolling and rubbing.
Armpits are for hairs and, discreetly, for sniffing.
Arms are for swinging, praising and hugging.
Hands are for throwing and carefully holding.
The fingers for picking, playing and feeling.

Chests are for beating, sleeping on, breathing.
Tits are for rubbing, bouncing, and feeding.
Tummies for trembling, tickling, digesting and rumbling.
Tummy buttons for fun, fingering and jewels.
Laps are for children, cats, lovers, to sit upon.

Backs are for backbones, massage and movement.
The bendy bits getting gentle, circular, smoothing.
Buttocks are for sitting, swinging and squeezing.
The anus for shitting, cleaning and feeling.
Vulva for opening, melting and closing.
Cunt is for peeing, pleasure and company.
Penis for pissing and lovingly probing.

Legs are for kicking, dancing and walking.
Thighs are for buttocks, and rhythmically slapping.
Knees are for bending, baby bouncing and kneeling.
Calves are for cramp and tenderly rubbing.

Feet are for standing on, flexing and tapping.
And toes are for looking at, counting and twiddling.

Bodies are for pleasure and friendship and pain:
For being and living and loving and dying.


Through air drives rain,
Rivers from hills,
Sap through trees,
Pulse of being,
Blood in us:
Rain soaks in to earth and seeks the sea,
Life to its maker returns,
Time soaks into eternity,
Pulse of being:

Montbretia and golden rod

Autumn - soft on promises, but full of deep desire - clings to our trembling bodies

Soon we will die. The burning leaf will fall. Winter will not be known to us.

But here, where the sap is sweet and mellow; this, our final love, cheats death of our despair.

photo by Glenn Thompson
photo by Glenn Thompson

Christmas Cactus

Tuesday, twenty-sixth of December, 2000:

Claws of the dragon

Opening on white air,
Pink fingers hang
From green straps:
Tiny cactus flowers,
Like pendant crocus,
Touch the
December day.

Claws of the dragon,
Silently raking,
The naked light.
Bright grey sky,
Lace curtains,
Window pane.
Flesh touched.

Cold pink fingers
Down a bare spine.
Tingling the daylight.
Dead leaves from autumn
Hang from the walls.
Christmas cactus
Quivers the flesh.

Wednesday the 17th of January 2001:

Bare flesh in cold air

Lucent pink sheaves,
transparent party dresses,
hang from the cactus
in January.
Silent songs on cold air.
Quivering petal flesh,
tingling our flesh
with melodies
through the window pane
to the white finger tips
of snowdrops.
Bare flesh in cold air.

Friday 19th of January 2001: Evening

Blossoms for bed

the pristine pink promise
of white light,
matures in the
warm electric light.
Cactus petals hang,
as rich red panties.
Warm, red
Blossoms for bed.

Tuesday the thirteenth of February 2001: Morning

Sticky fingers

Old fingers linger
on the cactus:
And, now, I touch,
and fingers clutch mine.

Sticky fingers,
full of January time
when they lusted red
on my way to bed.
And earlier:
when they touched
my skin with tingling pink,
suspending my body on the cold
December air.

And, slowly quivering with joy,
they wrinkle;
Quietly carrying the sweet harvest
of dying, to March.

Sweetmeats of winter.
They leave to others the spring,
and to me (in wonder)
to remember, and think
of coming December.

Valerie Argent pregnant Valerie Argent's baby

Sand in the bathroom

Shivers of sand on the pavement,
Sand in the lobby,
Sand in the bathroom,
And you..

You down to the beach in the moonlight
to smim naked in the gentle sea,
And to float with salt water
Pulsing in your vagina.

And I, with our baby, at home,
Sweeping the sand in the bathroom,
And listening, content, to the sounds
Of our small town by the sea.

Images of you

Here is the beach at Swanage.
It is long and gentle.
That slope of sand is even,
And your children can wade safely into the sea.
There are no dangerous currents.
This is a protected bay
Where nature has conspired to hold you
Safe, secure and satisfied.

Here is the beach at Swanage.
It is under those waves.
And the waves are smashing across the esplanade,
And you cannot walk safely anywhere near this sea.
Rocks, held in those waters, are hurled across the road,
To smash against the wall on our side.
This is a demented, tormented, bay
Where all that's wild and furious is set free.

Night and day

Sometimes you walk with me in dreams.
If every night such comfort brought,
The empty days I'd count my nights,
And the deep world of dreams, my day.

Valerie Argent's poems

She writes in patterned silk,
Her waves of shiny colours over the page.
Softly the syllables to sinuous stanzas run.
Around her generous curves the sensuous fabric folds:
And by her probing words,
Its buttons are undone.

Silver Shadows

Grandchildren's letters

My favourite colour is red, like the fat greasy streak of a big wax crayon on white paper,

My favourite colour is light green, like the smooth shiny stem of a blade of grass that one sucks on a hot sunny day,

My favourite colour is lilac, like a beautiful cotton dress that your grandmother used to wear,

And my favourite colour is whatever colour you use to write letters to me.

Celebrating feet

I am walking on my feet
My feet are bare
I am walking on my feet
I can feel them there

I am flexing my toes
On the end of my feet
It's great my toes grows
On the end of my feet

I am walking on the ball,
The ball of my feet.
Though a word that rhymes with ball is fall,
I will stay on my feet

I have neat round heels
At the back of my feet.
I can walk on my heels,
Though that's not so neat.

Because I am so tall -
Walking makes me wobble.
Because I am so old -
I am pleased I do not hobble.

I am walking on my feet
My feet are bare
I am walking on my feet
I can feel them there

Valerie Argent's Young Eve

Lake Meadows

The swallows dip towards the multi-patterned water: and there is time no longer.

Calm patterned,
Ripple patterned,
Cloud patterned -
Water patterned with the reflection of trees.

Weed patterned water; yellow weed floats in masses, countless spikes of brown weed pierce the water film.

Multi-patterned water set amongst grass and cloud, trees and sky.

The swallows dip towards the multi-patterned water and there is time no longer.

The boy rowing on the lake is the strokes of the soul on the surface of timelessness. Children playing football on the distant grass are echoes of movement and pattern on the surface of the water.

I no longer see a tangle of frustrated emotions clawing at cracks for release ... I see patterns and movement. There is time no longer and

I touch the world.

I touch the world.

I touch the world.

we licked the wound

of the orange hibiscus

and swooned

Anti-depressant imagination

Imagine poems that cheer people up.
Poems folded into envelopes and sent to friends.
Poems taken as gifts.
Poems we sing, keeping each other safe.
Poems to touch, under the skin.
Poems speaking through time and distance.
Sharing secrets.
Breaking into loneliness.
Mingling minds.
Poems that open our hidden parts.
Poems of our common nakedness.
Poems like warm clothes.
Poems of hunger and anger.
Poems of healing.
Sensual delight.
Sacred insight.
Poems like windows to look through together,
Revealing the world to our mind, inside and out.
Poems to wrap babies in.
Poems that children throw balls to.
Poems that dance in us.
Poems that dying people cling to.
Poems that grieve with us.
Shocking poems.
Poems we want to wipe our bottoms with.
Poems that we forgive, with difficulty.
Poems that forgive us.
Poems that embrace us.
Poems that float us in the stars.
Poems that vibrate the world.

Poems doing what each of us does
In the poem of living.

The Futile Stake

And when I die,
However I die,
Write Suicide.
Write Suicide.

And call a priest.
A canting priest.
All superstition's
Nightmares conjure up.

Borrow a stake,
Hygienic stake.
Let medical experts

Take to the crossroads
in the countryside
And with a heavy hammer and the stake:
Strike out my heart.

With some such parody of fear,
Erase my memory
And leave my body to the gorgeous worms
And the cold earth.

But do not think I died.
For that of me that
Has aroused your hate,
Or love, lives on.

The living soul returns
To whence I borrowed it.
It moves where it has always moved:
In the communion of men.

the ocean of God's love
drawn by Stanley Morse
with words by Andrew Roberts Ocean of God's Love: (The Lord's Prayer drawn by Stanley Morse with words by Andrew Roberts)

The ocean that made us,
loves us.

We swim in its parenting
With it, we become

In it, we feed,

And what we receive,
We give

As our tiny bodies swirl
In the almighty swell
Of the ocean.


God and I stole time from grudging duty,
One sunswept pause in an autumn of storms.
Greasy plates congealed in the murky kitchen:
We were in the sunshine planting crocus corms.

The spring sun is dancing now round orange stigmas
Ringing peels of laughter from the wide open flowers
I am power drunk from sharing the joy of the crocuses
I and God and crocus corms have super-powers!

Late night

The long night shivers,
And the cold day comes near.
The tap drips slowly in the kitchen
Where I crouch,
Curling my body around the momentary heat of the electric kettle.

I am long and bony,
And my eyes burn in hollow calcium sockets.
Every tissue of my long lean body shrieks in the morning cold.

I take my coffee to the bedroom and lie my cold crackling limbs under the blankets
Where, warm and plump, my wife lies dreaming:
Bad dream.
She wakes, fright in her eyes;
But I say, "I'm here",
And, smiling, fears vanished,
She falls back to sleep.

Now my bones are warm.

stars above ... heavenly love

Where the gentle moon probes,
in reflection,
the quivering surface of the sea,
I meet, in memory,
the search of your love for me,
And as bright sperm burns,
carpet of stars, milk
sparkling over a whimpering sea,
your mouth meets mine, legs twine,
reality, my Valerie.

bed below ... heavenly glow

Over the downs, in the dark ocean,
the bell-buoy rocks to and fro.
We sleep in the rhythm of its boom,
my arm around you as we dream,
holding on to you, as it used to be,
holding you away from the terror of day.
Warm tight comforting night.

Valerie Argent's Young Eve

Eve's lament on the death of Adam

Thy pleasure rod
Me took inside
When I and thee were wed,
And cleaving to thy naked side
I loved our Eden bed.
And old and grizzled,
Though we were,
When we from Eden fell,
Thy body and thy love,
My other part,
Has served me very well.
Now you are gone,
And me, bereft, am left
To love the memory
Of loving thee,
Thou missing half of me.

Birthdays ball game

Colours run
When number
Paints the sun
With a sticky bun.

Make some glue
For number two.
Stuck to you,
Her figure grew

Can you see
On the settee
Number three
Nickers naughty?

Drop to the floor
Make a roar
When number four
Is at the door

Number five
Comes alive
Swinging jive
In a downtown dive.

I am in a fix
With number
Back seat flicks.
Up to her tricks

Seven and eleven
Rhyme with Devon.
I am in heaven
With a sherbet lemon.

Swinging on the gate
With number eight,
Makes us late
For the garden fete.

This is the sign
For number
Hung on the line
With a dodgy rhyme

Look not when
Number ten
Wriggles wren.
Smoky garden.

Fours and sevens
Make elevens
Suck your lemons
With mistress Evans

Dirty delve
To number twelve.
Ring his bell.
But do not tell.

Did you scream?
Pink ice cream
Twelve and thirteen
Melts between.

Fourteen girls
Sorting boys.
Falling curls.
Breaking toys.

Fifteen friends.
Five to a row.
Shirley bends
Her cheeky toe.

Sixteen sneezes
Seventeen teases
Eighteen wheezes
Nineteen squeezes

Twenty's empty.
Half of forty.
Without a rhyme.
For flirty thirty.

Twenty's fun
When twenty one's
Sticky bun
Goes back to one.

Love life ball game

When you hear
the tinkle of pearls
You know the girls
are washing their curls.

When you hear
a raucous noise
You know the girls
have met the boys.

When you hear
the dancing men
You know mayhem
will come again.

When you hear the
lady scream
Polish her dream,
shiny and clean.

When you hear
her baby cry
Throw your ball
into the sky.

When you hear the
coughing old man
Fill up his pan
with honey and jam.

When you hear the
hungry old maid
Your larder raid that her
table be laid.


Nothing compares to the touch of minds,
as ours touched
last night when we sat awake.

Resting in love grey eyes
I ran my fingers through your hair
And felt your breath pulsing my face.

We felt so close
we were afraid to close the night:
and wanted its happiness
unbroken by noisy day.

when the first song of garden birds crashed
the new day into the isolation of our curtained room,
we were dismayed
and clung to our artificial womb.

But the kind slowness of the natural light
calmed our fears,
and reconciled to change
we took the curtain from the dawn.

And I took a candle,
lit it,
and putting it between us where we lay on the floor,
I saw you in the liquid light of burning wax.

And your face was pure as the candle light;
and your eyes as grey as breaking day;
and your hair soft gold of a melted flame;
and your smile as warm as the love burning in in my heart.

I drank the present and hoped the future.
having lived without noticing the living,
I remembered how recently we met,
and yet we were lying with our minds together.


Doodling in the corners
In the corners of my mind
Sketching music's pictures
To express my love to you.

Rhapsodies are painted
By fingers on my skin
And membranes on unconscious joys
Are less than paper thin.

Filtering through the music
That I doodle in my mind:
Bright sunshine on ripples
Clouds on the waves.

The boat sings of love
As it tosses in my dreams.
Notes drawn by reeds
Blown by the wind.


Sheaved in the black grief
Of this naked old man,
Over his withered willie,
A deep red anger
Furiously shakes
The forbidden fruit
tree of life.

Poem for black rage

This is a poem for black rage,
Smearing misery on the page.
Chunks of black. Smack.
Paper is thin. Grind it in.
Screw it up. Chuck.
Kick the bin.


Dead poem.
Bang it on the head.
Still dead.
Put it in the dustbin.
Not even remembering
What it meant to me.
Dead me.
Bang it on the head.
Still dead.

An angry beat

Anger is energy.
A torrent of power.
Out to attack you:
Turned in, strangling me.

Anger can be energy
To sing, not destroy.
A river of movement.
A torrent of joy.

The emotions' loud music
Is powerful and strong:
Fearful in destruction,
But vigorous in song.

Such anger is energy
As powerful rhythm.
By its passionate clapping,
Love dances are driven.

Pleasant desire

Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is
Quietly wanting the being that is

The last notes

The last post play:
It is end of day.
Tired of struggle,
In sleep we lay.

Play the last post,
Gathered together,
On sighs of bugles,
Together remember.

The last post sound:
We return to ground.
Ground of our living
In music rebound.

Our life's discord
Will trust in you,
In remembered notes,
To sound us true.


Born of lust and beating blood,
Mother's flesh and father's semen:
Muscles fired by pumping lungs,
Rend the air with infant scream.
Beating heart fires beating feet:
Pound, pound, pound the ground.

Born of lust and beating blood,
Mother's flesh and father's semen:
When rhythm's beat no more sucks air:
That which was blood and love, is ground.

The body born, lived and died
Is carried by children from the hut.
In village earth a hole is made
Where the cold flesh and bones are laid.
Dancing on the fresh earth grave:
The living pound, pound the ground.

When rhythm's beat no more sucks air:
That which was blood and love, is ground.
Supporting the beat of pounding feet,
Earthling under its living pulse lies.

Valerie Argent's Young Eve


In the beginning
Was the hug:
The hug
Of the womb.

Then there was a breach,
And pain and cold.
Then warm, beating hugs.
The word came much later

In the beginning
Was the beat:
The beat
Of the blood.

Then there was a breach,
And pain and cold.
Then warm, beating love.
The word came much later

In the beginning
Was the warmth:
The warmth
Of body love.

Then there was a breach,
And pain and cold.
Then warm, beating body love.
The word came much later

Schneckenhaus (snail house) and the curious snail

The curious snail was feeling the world with his foot, his feelers and his long eyes when he sensed disaster and rapidly withdrew his soft self into his hard shell, and repelled the outside by filling the opening with emotional foam.

When winter comes he will hibernate with a thick membrane across that opening. But now is the time for cautious exploration. Soon a feeler, an eye, a foot tentatively emerge from the foam to see what is going on.
Schnecken & Muscheln

Valerie Argent's Young Adam
The long note sounds as the bow is drawn across the edge of life.
Between my legs, withering willie shrinks. My skin grows spots.
The fruit rots on the ground and delighted wasps hover round.
Knees creek. Each day reborn, my body greets pains of dying.
The scent of thyme is in my joints and I am lying with the earth. Valerie Argent's Young Adam

Study Link
Andrew Roberts' web Study Guide
Top of Page Take another break Silver shadows Naked Snails
Cosy Hungering Snakes and Ladders
Cuccu Songs and Caroling Eurhythmy - Therapeutic Rhythms

If you think that I you have caught within a maze: Be amazed. You too could be a poem and escape. Whatever life's tricks, and, wherever you roam, you are never far from home

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The poems on this page were all written by Andrew Roberts, whose sins are forgiven him. Poems, not sins, are copyright Andrew Roberts, but you are welcome to reproduce on a non-profit basis, providing his name is attached. How he would feel if you reproduced them without his name would depend on his mood, I suspect he would be amused. If you managed to make a profit from them, he would be amazed. The pictures called Valerie Argent's Young Eve and Valerie Argent's Young Adam were painted by Valerie Argent.

in a vision of clouds and a flurry of rain