Poems

Jamie Grant: ‘Hallucinations’

Hallucinations

Cobwebs like fine electric cables, strung
from tree to tree—

how often have hair and lips and hands
become entangled

in these filaments, adhesive and invisible,
as one struggled

through the garden gate? Yet aglow with dew,
they might be

jewel-bright artifacts of a distant
civilization,

or else the street plan of its capital.
The webs work

like fish nets, harvesting insect protein
in the dark,

yet when they have been destroyed
by some conflagration

or mishap their architects rebuild
with delicate

limbs that re-shape the complex designs
reminding us

of curtains, drapes and tapestries
in the dust

of the shed, or wedding veils
and intricate

visions in the corners of verandahs,
visions

like the hallucinations experienced
from the bed

of a nursing home by a century-old
woman who

tells her carers of a fire burning in her room,
adding, “You

must see the flames. I’ve called
the fire brigade,”

before going on to wonder why
the smoke

seems “strange and fine, like spider webs,
or airmen’s overcoats.”

Jamie Grant

 

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