Featured Poem

Lesser Common Rustic | Fay Musselwhite

At my elbow I hear a faint judder
of something soft, spring-loaded, in trouble
in the windowsill clutter. I shift an old bottle,
lift a plant pot to uncover an earth-coloured moth
seized in the struggle to shake off a rough
fur cape of dust and disintegrating web,
though his panic-flapping only whips it up
to wind it closer in.

I make an open grab, moth quivers, still
hemmed in, his wing-breath winnowing my palm
as I pull clingy clumps from a blur of parts.
Wary of a snag or pixel smudge, I pick
at house-lint steeped in tar left by the spider’s snare,
which, it seems, grew stickier as structure failed,
till the tiny living dynamo can shed his last
shreds of robe. I barely see him go.

‘Lesser Common Rustic’ appears in Fay Musselwhite’s debut collection Contraflow.


More than 50 previous Featured Poems can be accessed via this index (many of these pages also contain audio recordings and short films).

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