Tuesday Poem: Scorpion


A question mark on the floor
in shadow beside the shoe rack.
Black patent claws
crabwise across the tiles.

I could kill it easily with
one petty crunch of my heel
this gleaming survivor
of a million holocausts -

the weaponry cocked
over its armoured carapace,
like a rocket-launcher.

I will tap my shoes carefully
every morning. Not walk
barefoot in the dark.

© Kathleen Jones

This is my first scorpion in Italy, glimpsed a few days ago. It was sneaking along the wall from the kitchen to the sitting room and about to scuttle under the sofa. We managed to get a photograph (though not one of the question mark sting curled over its back) before I gently swept it up and put it safely outside. They have a nasty sting, but aren't life-threatening here. Who am I to deal death to something that's lived on the planet for over 400 million years and will probably be here for another 400,000,000 after I've gone!

The Tuesday Poets are celebrating their 2nd anniversary in Cyber-Space by writing another 'group' poem. Each member of the group will be adding a couple of lines every few hours for the next couple of weeks. If you're interested in seeing how a poem can grow please have a look at the Hub at http://www.tuesdaypoem.blogspot.com


  1. Yes! This brought back memories of scorpions in Key West years ago, where I, too, carefully restored them to the outside world. And of an encounter with a viper in the wilds of Tuscany - when Tuscany still had wilds - which had come into our borrowed house by mistake. It escaped; we drank to its continuing health.

  2. That is very respectful of you, Kathleen - I am in awe of these creatures that are hardy survivors. They are definitely worthy of poetry!! I loved the tapping of the shoes at the end - that's exactly what I thought about while reading it - 'what could they get into?' I always remember trapping a bee in my shoe (accidentally) and not realising for some time. Needless to say, I had a rather swollen foot, and the bee met a sad end.


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