every spider

has winched itself         

            eave     to eave


            there is a time

for the fly

            to be silenced




            every fly

has been silenced        



begin to speak





has had its say           



there’s only

            the sound


            of your tread


I can never tell            


            if you’re walking away 


            or towards me            


(after) every night


            tensing for


 your arrival


            or departure   


I begin to think I can hear


            the effort


of silk             unspooling     


from the spider          


the arrowhead


            of the fly        


wounding the silk                   


the sound


            of something


dying   away








What I Might Say

after Rumi



Tonight, I could be a fig tree, a resinous bed of mint, 

a field of grapevines. Small and shivering leaves.  


I could be bamboo, muttering to myself. Plaiting the edge

of a dried lake bed, waiting for the axe. 


Rosemary, self-seeded among succulents. A trespasser,

not hiding my spikes, hoping you’ll let me stay.


The jewel spider, deep within the bezel of your eaves.

Guarding the threshold, ready with my silk.


Even belladonna in a ghostly dress, eyes unseeing, wide.

Circling the outside of your house, breathing through its cracks.


I long to be herbs in your fist, a lacquered eggplant, lemon.

A naked garlic clove, its fever numbing in your mouth.


Instead, while we sleep, I deepen under you. Become

uneasy water, an upturned boat, its mooring caught.





Part of the self leaves the body when we sleep

and changes shape. You might say, “Last night

I was a cypress tree, a small bed of tulips,

a field of grapevines.” 

- Rumi 


(from  ‘Unmarked Boxes’ in The Essential Rumi: New Expanded Edition, 2004, translated by Coleman Barks. New York: HarperOne. 272)