Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020: The Only Spider I Ever Loved

The only spider I ever loved was sitting in the kitchen sink, after my night’s meditation in the outside porch, two of its long black legs probing enamel sides. I cannot lie. I’ve killed many spiders in my time, but that night, after the neck and the knee, on repeat, repeat, my only thought was: what would black Jesus do?

I cloched a see-through tumbler over, placed a strip of card under, walked gingerly beneath fluorescent light, as if leading him away from Death’s boarding gate. Threw him into the grass outside, where a cat, not long before, had crawled along the fence and sat in the rays of my meditative gaze in the darkness. Legs tucked beneath the cushion of her comfort, she’d basked in the throb of my mantra.

The only spider I ever loved scrambled into the weeds, where the only cat I ever inspired had sat; left one of her lives for the spider to find in the grass. And sometimes, when I don’t find the time to meditate – a way to take a break from life’s suffocations – I envy that cat, who basked in my calm. And the spider – who did not know how rare such mercy was. Or that his life had been in danger.

Recording provided as part of Poetry Archive Now: Wordview 2020. Used by permission of the author.

Poetry Archive Now Wordview 2020 Winners

Welcome to the Poetry Archive Now! WordView 2020 Collection. For the first time the Archive opened its doors wide to poets from around ...

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Merrie Joy Williams

Merrie Joy Williams is a poet, novelist, reviewer, writing tutor, and editor, who was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize 2020. She has been a poet-in-residence for the Manchester Poetry Library/MMU Special Collections, and published in Poetry Wales, The Interpreter’s House, and The Good Journal, amongst others. A London Writers' Award alumni, she is a recipient of a grant from Arts Council England for her second poetry collection. Her debut collection is 'Open Windows' (Waterloo, 2019).


A special thank you to our WordView 2020 poets.

Chair of the Judging Panel, Imtiaz Dharker, says: “The hundreds of entries we received blew in to the Archive like a breath of pure, unpolluted air from all over the world, revealing something of the time we are living in, some telling it straight, some slant. It was exciting to check in to the Poetry Archive’s Youtube channel every morning and come upon one unexpected voice after another."

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