Mandy MacDonald – endangered

endangered

 

you probably haven’t been

to Bukit Tenggek, Malaysia

 

and you probably won’t, now

because it’s almost gone

a limestone outcrop, sculpted karst

turned meringue

being quarried out of existence

as you read this

 

how did anyone notice

Plectosoma tenggekensis, this

minute snail clinging, creeping

on the hollow hill, fractured hell

of dust and ruin?

 

well, no-one did, until last year

when it got its name, became

‘known to science’

 

look at your fingernail

no, look

at a sunflower seed, an aphid

P. tenggekensis is smaller

translucent

helical, coil upon coil

and all the colours of roses

 

it lives only on that hill

it will not outlast it

 

it has cousins on three nearby hills, themselves

dissolving into man-gouged lakes

they have drowned in the mud

their jewel colours fading into once-was

 

not only snails but whole hillsides

can wink out like dying stars

almost before we see them

 

Mandy Macdonald is n Australian writer, translator and editor living in Aberdeen. She has been writing poems for as long as she can remember, but no-one else knew until very recently. She has had poems published in Poetry Scotland, Pushing Out the Boat, and Haiku Scotland.

 

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3 thoughts on “Mandy MacDonald – endangered

  1. Oops! line 20 should read: ‘P. tenggekensis is smaller’, with ‘P. tenggekensis’ italic if possible, and not indented.

  2. Pingback: Mandy MacDonald – three poems – Clear Poetry

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