Buzz in the Window


                              Buzz frantic
And prolonged. Fly down near the corner,
The cemetery den. A big bluefly
Is trying to drag a plough, too deep
In earth too stony, immovable. Then the fly
Buzzing its full revs forward, budges backward.
Clings. Deadlock.
The spider has gripped its anus. Slender talons
Test the blue armor gently, the head
Buried in the big game. He tugs
Tigerish, half the size of his prey. A pounding
Glory time for the spider. For the other
A darkening summary of some circumstances
In the window corner, with a dead bee,
Wing-petals, husks of insect-armor, a brambled
Glade of dusty web. It buzzes less
As the drug argues deeper and deeper.
In fluttery soundless tremors it tries to keep
A hold on the air. The north sky
Slides northward. The blossom is clinging
To its hopes, refurnishing the constant
Of ignorant life. Te bluefly,
Without changing expression, only adjusting
Its leg stance, as if to more comfort,
Undergoes ultimate ghastliness. Finally agrees to it.
The spider tugs, retreating. The fly
Is going to let it do everything. Something is stuck.
The fly is fouled in web. Intelligence, the spider,
Comes round to look and patiently, joyfully,
Starts cutting the mesh. Frees it. Returns
To the haul–homeward in that exhausted ecstasy
The loaded hunters of the Pleistocene
Never recorded either.


                                               –from Orts, 17


Ted Hughes, Collected Poems, Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2005.