Cellar Dweller by Duncan Forbes



Duncan Forbes’ poems have been published by Faber, Secker and Enitharmon, who brought out a Selected Poems, Lifelines, in 2009. It was drawn from five previous collections. Awards and prizes include a Gregory Award, TLS/Blackwells Prize, two Stephen Spender Times Translation Prizes and a Hawthornden Fellowship. A painter as well as a poet, he read English at Oxford and has taught for many years. Now retired, he lives in Gloucestershire.














Cellar Dweller


What is that spider called

that lives on cellar walls and floors

and looks like a ball of hair

with mind and legs of its own?


Walking on filament stilts,

it weaves its minimal webs

though what can it catch at all

but a skeletal ghost of a meal?


And yet it breathes and breeds,

a dingy dungeon wisp

in flaking paintwork and dust

where woodlice curl to a crisp.


Duncan Forbes