Northwords Now Issue 38

The FREE literary magazine of the North

Arachne

by David Goldie

Let the story unravel as it will,
the strands twist in the wind;
in the early hours;
in the morning sun.

Glitches of colour and light on mist
resolve themselves as an old woman,
breathless, leaning on a stick of gnarled olive.

Sprung from her disguise,
threading through thin air
between grids of washed gold
pulled taught by loom weights.

Skilful fingers work;
teasing out the knots and tangles
with a touch as deft and swift as light.

Under curlicues of knuckle
the shuttle speeds back and forth.
The ridges and depressions of weft and woof
present their different versions.

Angles of air and light take up the slack between
contested perspectives. Dogtooth and herringbone
in glinting chevrons.

Light catches the cloud
pierced by rain
as a volley of arrows
falling obliquely.

Clothed in heavenly light
the marbled sky looms.
Colour dissolves.
A single crane rises.

Black pinions cleave the sky,
recede into the distance.
To a shimmering pinhead.
To a full stop.