Tuesday, 9 November 2010


for D H Lawrence

I arrive with my soap and towel
But there in the empty bath
Is a daddy-longlegs.

I shall return in an hour.
He'll be gone by then. I think
They must come up the plughole

For I can't figure out where else
they could come from. But I never
Seem to be able to spot them

Coming and going so I can't really say
If it's true. An hour later I'm back
But now there are two. He's prancing

Before her as if he wants to impress
With his long slender legs. I think his brain
Is the size of a dot. She is not impressed

Or at least she doesn't appear to be,
For when he runs to her in all his eagerness
She scampers to a spot a foot away and

He quickly gives up the chase. Now they stand
As still as only they can and stare at each other.
What are they thinking? Can they, do they, think?

And if so, with what? With their tiny brains
Each the size of a dot? I think not.
But who can tell? I go away, I'll come back later.

And when I return I see only her. He's gone
Down the plughole I suspect. Did he? Didn't he?
Did she? Didn't she? She looks unmoved

As far as one can tell. Now I'll go to bed
And have my bath tomorrow. At least
I will if the bath is free!



  1. Only have a shower unit now and I don't think they can climb three storeys but at our old place I'd often find one - if I really didn't want to share my bath I'd pick them up and drop em through the window.

    Last month in Jersey there were hundreds of em clinging to the windows after a storm.

  2. Gerald,
    I'm not sure if they are not cannibalistic. They're of the spider family those big ones you find in the bath. The little ones are different, they're harmless insects.


  3. They are everywhere: here in Spain too. What you want is a 'brand new combine harvester' for these harvesters!

    Glad to see you've finally dropped the Coleen Rooney quote from your header; or have I got the wrong Mrs R?

    Really enjoyed the poem, after all that!

  4. Gordon,
    I'm very glad you enjoyed the poem. Can't think which quote you mean. But then my memory is not always the best.

  5. nice. I like the narrative flow of it.

    my eldest just did her first book report. about spiders! and daddy longlegs get a couple paragraphs in there. They are not spiders (all spiders are poisonous, and DLLs are not) but they are part of the arachnid family.

    what is the connection between this and d h lawrence? all I know are his novels...

  6. CC and also other readers who liked this item,- There are at least 10 D H Lawrence poems, or extracts frompoems on this blog, mostly they are his nature poems and they are written in the narrative style I've used here in this tribute. The whole makes something of an essay. You can find everything simple by entering D H Lawrence in the blog search box.
    For me D H Lawrence is a nature poet first and a novelist second. He was an acute observer of the natural world. He had a lot of time and respect for animals. That's why I like him.
    DHL died in Vence in Provence (France) which is a beautiful place to die when the time comes. Unfortunately, as I see it, his body was subsequently exhumed by his wife and taken to Mexico. It's strange how the buried famous are continually being dug up and moved, I think now of Beethoven and Schubert as prime examples. Fortunately Shakeaspeare's "a curse on him who moves my bones" still protects him!

  7. ps- re CC's remark - the common house spider, a big black creepy crawly that you should definitely not chase away, by way of example, is perfectly harmless - there are no poisonous spiders in the UK!


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