I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

26 January 2016

This Poem is a Spider, a Scream, a Regret

This poem is a small spider.
This poem is a woman screaming.
This poem is shame and regret.

This poem is a tickle on my shoulder
just as I’m stepping into the shower.
This poem is brown, with radiating legs.
This poem is a small spider.

This poem is me screaming
(I always do, I can’t help it)
then jumping up and down to shake it off.
This poem is a grown woman screaming.

This poem is a woman stepping out of the shower
looking for the spider’s landing-place (surely it ran?)
then seeing in a corner its drowned body.
This poem is her shame and regret.

This poem is a small spider meaning no harm.
This poem is a woman screaming and not thinking.
This poem is shame and regret, and a failure of courage.

This poem was written for Poets United's Midweek Motif: Courage.
This poem is in the form Boomerang Metaphors, invented by Hannah Gosselin.


  1. Replies
    1. According to my tablet, those were hearts! I adore the consciousness in this poem and the way its repetitions and cadences move it from panic into focus.

  2. This poem is WONDERFUL!!!!!!! And I adore it.

  3. Ha, I think many can identify with this one! I am sympathetic to spiders....but only if they are not trying to inhabit MY living space!

    1. My position exactly, Mary. But my preferred option is to get them safely outside rather than kill them.

  4. Eeeeek ! ...You know what a wolf spider looks like...rules are rules...the house is off limits to reptiles insects and rodents....Enter at own risk:)

    1. It was only a wee baby Huntsman. Yes, the dangerous ones I have no compunction about.

  5. I agree, this is absolutely adorable :D we all have that one thing which we are scared of despite our heart being full of courage. Beautifully executed :D

    Lots of love,

  6. Courage dear Rosemary, we all luv the spiders in photos, in movies but never the ones we encounter stepping into our shower

    much love...

  7. What a clever web you weave..works on many levels - taking a shower..getting through life.. i think if i lived in Australia the spiders would make me scream - here it's just the neighbours! A wonderful poem i do love the 'This poem is' device..

  8. I get called for "spider duty" - authentic piece.

  9. Aww...i can see myself in your place and doing the same thing...how i love this poem and the form...

  10. A mighty piece! The spider, the ultimate source of fear for many, to me just one of natures wonders...Smiles..Nicely written piece Rosemary!

    1. For me they are both. I have the phobia but also greatly admire and respect them.

  11. Your poem touched my heart. I am proud to know someone who can feel remorse at killing an innocent creature. But, though no comfort, I probably would react the same way. So shame on me too.

  12. I think we all can relate to this Rosemary! I know quite a few grown men that are not too thrilled about a spider landing on them, especially in the shower. :-))

  13. And you felt so badly about the wee spider. Unless they are dangerous, I leave them be. I'm frightened of them but I leave them be. The few poisonous ones we have - no quarter for them. My husband screams like a little girl at the sight of them. Panic and fear, then on to reqret at the taking of an innocent life. Excellent poem. Good for you.

  14. It's such a nice surprise to see your write this in the Boomerang, Rosemary!! The use of it brings your purpose into powerful effect...really well done...totally felt this piece...I've had these same feelings. Thank you, for mentioning the form and me...so honored! :)

    1. I am very keen on this form, Hannah; it has worked well for me every time I've tried it.

  15. Dear Rosemary, Your poem contains a lovely sentiment. Thank you. My sister Tina in upper New York state wrote her spider poem a few years ago.

    The Spider on the Screen

    “John”, I said
    In a delirium of fever and painkillers
    “There is a very large spider on my screen.
    He has been there for three days.”
    Or so I thought. I was, after all,
    Not quite myself.
    “Where?” John asked.
    “Up there. In the upper right corner”, I said
    Proud that I could be so coherent.
    “Oh, cool!” was his response.
    “No”, I said. “Not cool. He has been there for three days
    Staring at me."
    “He is a she”, John said.
    John knows these things,
    And I am proud of that.
    “Well”, said I, “would you do –
    Would you do something with her, please?”
    We both knew what I meant.
    We have opposing views on spiders.
    “She’s on the outside of the screen”, he pointed out reasonably.
    “Oh”, I said
    And went back into my fog.

    1. I love your sister's poem! Thanks for sharing it.

  16. This poem reminds me of a friend of mine, a rather large friend, who is afraid of mice. I was living in an old farmhouse when she came to visit me one day, and saw a mouse skitter across the floor. She was so terrified that she couldn't speak, but she did have the courage to jump up on her chair and stay there, gasping for breath, until she sensed that the danger had passed!

  17. If we are scared of little creatures like spiders and mice what do they think of us?

  18. Wow Rosemary, quite a story you got there. reminds me of someone I know...hehe.

  19. really nice written Rosemary
    good luck!

  20. Arachnophobics of the world unite! It really is quite an irrational fear, isn't it, Rosemary? And most poor spiders just want to stay out of our way and mind their own business. Very nicely penned!

  21. Rosemary,

    I'm not a lover of spiders either. I particularly feel fearful, if I think one has ran past me and the resulting panic to locate it...Well captured with poetic courage!