Saturday, 31 May 2014

The witch of Satis House

By a strange coincidence I was drawn back to Great Expectations and the spectral character of Miss Havisham recently while I was trying to write a poem about insects...

The witch of Satis House
She dwells, yes, that is the word,
down there in the dust of her life,
not living, she dwells
in the wintry room of her making,
in her bloodless bitterness,
where no clock ticks.
Time is still,
the air forever frozen,
her breath a cool vapour that has only
caressed the ash of life.
Her dress yellowed, its silk long dead,
her face a waxwork, eyes inward,
her body withered under the gown,
a shrunken spectre;
her movements small
and cold.
The young man sees
in the dusky candlelight
the detail of her,
but I feel it all,
from my haunt.
I live well in near darkness
and my silk is finely tuned
to the smallest vibration
of my webs.
There is abundance still on her bride’s table,
a great cake.
It is for me.
My blotchy body and speckled legs
are all at home here.

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