Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

Martha's song
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Dull, crawling larva, earth-bound
On ragwort, nettle, weed,
His caterpillar round
Of life to creep and feed,
Dies when he’s sated, and, self-twined,
Weaves the grave-clothes of his chrysalis
And here in this
Tight, dark blind
Impenetrable subterranean shroud
Lies winter-long until the April thrush
From every tree and house-top shouts aloud.
Now splits the winding-sheet, and there breaks out
Not horror, worm, decay,
But a new creature.
Small splendid joy, come, flout
Despair; dance unimaginable things;
Come, flitting glory, thus
Embody the Word.
Perch on my finger, little Lazarus,
While your bright wings
Talk of the Lord.


Oxford Times, 12 April 1963
The Dancing Dust and other poems, 1983