celebrating and creating our own LGBTQ+ history in honour of Sheila McWattie

day twenty four




Ninety woven minutes

spread out before me

in seconds of slow shuffling

and jabbing twists of

gnarled and pointed legs.


The She-Spider held a rhythm in her

like the egg holds the growing yolk,

and her side-shuffle stretch,

with her precision and balance,

were the harmonies that soothed

the aching gnaw of my clumpy

human-ness, crouched as I was,

knees bent and calf muscles cramped.


It was a vast yarn of a task,

easily twenty four inches across.

A chasm to fill with unknown fibres.

Mad and mysterious sticky silk

that she spun and pulled and held

in her translucent but speckle-brushed



Eight twisted pins!

The central pair a smaller, dumpy couple,

a balance,

the flawless fulcrum.


She danced her bulbous arse

from tightrope to tightrope.

Almost vulgar, as she trailed

the liquidy, fluidy substance

of her insides. Shameless.


And heavy with a hunger

for insect juice

and sex.


And the spiral shrunk.

And her rhythm came in shorter bursts.

And she blustered on.

And she laughed and I laughed

and her scrunched and opaque dance’s legs

wove on and upped the pace.

And her web, now almost whole,

quivered in the quilted sunset breezes…

Almost there,

almost there,

and done.


And she gobbled a glob of the

fluffy white spun silk centre

and she stretched herself,

centred herself,

eased herself and her philosophies

in the spin of quietness.


And I left her there,

waiting, hungry, alone,

and the night opened up

like a book.



Renée McAlister, Brighton






















Comments on: "day twenty four" (3)

  1. this is wonderful – loving the details of science and nature so sharply and beautifully described …an amazing journey and what a great last line…”and the night opened up like a book”

  2. as always you take us emotionally to the moment with your exacting awareness. thankyou x

  3. A roller coaster journey, exciting and wonderful. Fabulous.

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