Sunday, 30 October 2016

Spirit Suitcase







Dear Reader,


                                                                          A Spider and his Web


I am not a natural lover of spiders, but they don't seem to have understood this and have visited my house in hordes this month.  They seem to be everywhere, in every corner, and certainly have their favourite spots, the downstairs loo being one of them.  Some of them, of course, are not as horrible as others.  The ones with the small bodies and long legs I put down the lavatory, thinking vaguely that they will have another chance at life, swirling about in the water. This is probably not true but it makes me feel less guilty.  But those black spiders that scuttle sideways have no second chance when I have caught them ........

The evolution of spiders has been going on for about 400 million years, and there are at least 45,700 spider species.  Most spiders live for about two years, and their best known method of ensnaring prey  is by means of a sticky web in which they capture different insects.  The male spider identifies himself by a variety of complex courtship rituals to avoid being eaten by the females, and they only survive a few matings, which are limited by their short life spans.

"Weaving spiders come not here
hence you long-legged spinners, hence
Beetles black, approach not near;
Worm nor Snail, do no offence."

From: Midsummer Night's Dream   (1595/6)

Thinking of Shakespeare, I am reading a really funny and interesting book about his life and the little that is known about it, by Bill Bryson.  He says that Shakespeare didn't scruple to steal plots, dialogue, names and titles, or whatever suited his purpose.  I didn't know that, and apparently George Bernard Shaw once said that Shakespeare was a wonderful teller of stories so long as someone else had told them first.  Could we all say that about the tales we tell, I wonder?

                                                                         *


Spirit Suitcase

A sturdy key
locks the spirit
in its suitcase.
It floats and dances,
dives low, climbs high,
is forever candle-lit.

The suitcase, new, shines,
leather polished,
locks and fittings brass-bright,
unbruised.
But through use, it gets kicks,
scuffs, scratches, and slowly fades.
Its original shape
is just recognizable,
only just there

while the spirit dances on ........   

                                                                  *

With best wishes, Patricia                                                               

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My mother always rescued spiders from the bath, so I do too. Funny really.
What an unusual, thought provoking poem. I love the idea of a spirit locked in a suitcase. Lovely. Xx