Poetry – The Spider

The Spider

It is that time of year again. The large house spiders are on the move. The big males are off hunting females to mate.  They bounce across your carpet, veering and halting unpredictable.

They lurk in the recesses and under everything.

They are huge, dark and hairy. Their bristles are evil.

At night they emerge to climb walls and on to beds.

They appear in bath-tubs and showers.

They also loom even larger in my imagination!

I am an entomologist. I should know better. But childhood experiences combine with evolutionary instinct to tell me that these things are dangerous, evil and a malevolent force.

Nothing will persuade me otherwise.

We have a huge one in the house. My wife saw it scurry under the bath.

I know it’s there, somewhere.

The Spider

 Malevolently scurrying across the floor,

Scuttling to a standstill, assessing,

Watching with its many eyes,

Weighing up the scene.

Then darting into dark crevices

Impossible to squeeze into

To lurk and plan

Its evil re-emergence.

When darkness falls

It is there

Under the cushion

Under the pillow

Brushing the sleeping face

With its bristles

Legs and gnashing mandibles.

Delighting in its success.

No web

Or patient wait

For this one.

He is quick

And unpredictable,

Equipped with

Many legs

And a brain

That intends

To terrify.











No ordinary spider.

Opher 3.9.2015

Poetry – I’m back – just when you least expect me!

Poetry – I’m back – just when you least expect me!

I’m back

Scurry   Scurry

Stop and wait

Lurk and hide and plan

Chuckle as they hesitate

Hairy legs will find their man.


In dead of night

When all is quiet

I’ll creep from out my lair

Up over the bedspread

Over pillow

Towards the tousled hair

Fangs eagerly dribbling juice

As I crawl across your cheek

To tease your lips with bristly feet

To just disturb your sleep

So that assiduously into your nightmares

Images of me will leak.

I’m back

And I’m bad!

I’ll make you mad!


Opher 6.9.2015

The Spider – I told you it was evil!


I am an arachnophobe. That makes me slightly biased when it comes to spiders. But only slightly.

Everyone knows that spiders are evil. They not only look that way but they act it too. They plan, scheme and behave vindictively with maximum malice.

Yesterday we had a huge house spider. It scurried under the bath and hid. We could not coax it out and I knew it was planning.

I wrote my poem about it.

This morning there was a loud piercing scream from the bedroom. My good lady was in there getting dressed. She’d put on her top and felt the slightest touch on her shoulder. Instinctively she flicked at the irritation and found she had knocked the enormous spider off her shoulder on to the floor.

It had surreptitiously hidden under her clothes waiting its opportunity. When she got dressed it had gleefully held on in hopes of terrorising her.

Once its cunning plan had been interrupted (It had obviously lurked in her clothing ready to suddenly scurry on to her face and scare the wits out of her) it attempted to run off behind the cupboard.

My wife deployed gravity and mass effectively. She brought down her slipper on it.

We now wait in dread for the night. We know it has family (probably older siblings and parents) and, when it is inky black and we are sound asleep, they will seek revenge.

Photography – Australia and some of our eight legged friends.

IMG_9748 IMG_9752 IMG_9803 IMG_9805 IMG_9806

This one was in the toilet directly above my head and was at least ten inches across from leg to leg. Fortunately it retained its grip and did not fall. Constipation was not an issue!


Being an arachnophobe (peculiar for an entomologist) Australia, like many tropical countries, is particularly daunting. These babies were all bigger than your hand and many were up to a foot across! But they sat quietly in their webs. I could cope – just!