By Willow-Marie

“Octavia” is about a spider with music inside her.

There once was a spider with music inside her.
Her name was Octavia and she lived in a loft
some people say was enchanted.
She danced through each day.
She danced through each night-
Four to the left,
Four to the right.

She swirled and she twirled,
Spun ‘round with a smile,
She swayed and she tiptoed,
And after while-

Up through her music,
Clear and apart,
Came a voice that called out to her
Straight from her heart:

“One two three, one two three,
Won’t someone dance with me?”

It was magic! This voice,
This song from down deep,
And from the tip of her nose
To the toes on eight feet…

She knew there were people
Just waiting out there
Who would dance to her music-
If only they’d hear.

So off she went singing
Her magical song-
Determined, delighted
And singing along:

“One two three, one two three,
Won’t someone dance with me?”

She didn’t get far. The shadows stopped her.
They were her friends and they loved her very much,
but they didn’t understand. They were very worried.

They said:
“There’s no one for miles,
They’re all in the city-
And spiders are hairy and scary,
A pity.

You’ll frighten the people.
They’ll sound the alarm.
They might even chase you,
They might do you harm.

We don’t hear your music,
The tune is too soft,
But stay, we’ll protect you,
You’re safe in the loft.”
Her eyes filled with tears.
She started to blink-
And then all of a sudden
She started to think

They were right… in a way.
If she danced by herself
She’d be safe in the shadows
Up high on the shelf.

“But the music inside me,
I just have to share,
I can’t keep it hidden,
I’ll just have to dare.

On the outside
I’m creepy and crawly I know,
But inside
I twinkle and sparkle and glow.”

It was then that something wonderful happened:

Each inky shadow
Could hear and could feel
As they started to dance
That her music was real!

Inky and slinky
They slowly grew longer
As Octavia’s music
Shone through and grew stronger.

And the sun through the leaves
To the sill past the glass
Watched Octavia’s friends
Dance “good-bye!” as she passed.

Not once did they wonder-
Not once did she doubt
That the music inside her
Was meant to come out.

“One two three, one two three,
Won’t someone dance with me?”

And with those words Octavia’s adventure began,
and she began to walk, and walk, and walk.
Even with eight legs, the city seemed so far away.
She would need help to get there and so…

She called to the west winds,
The south, and the east,
But they wouldn’t help her-
They called her a beast!

“Don’t call me a beast
Can’t you see that I’m not?”
But none saw or heard
All the music she’d brought.

Then she remembered
The winds of the north,
And wondered perhaps
If they’d carry her forth.

But they were the first winds,
The fiercest, the oldest,
Commanding, demanding
And heartless- the coldest!

So she settled & gathered
Her courage with care,
And lo! And behold
They were suddenly there!

They came with a blast,
And a flurry of frost,
And she thought for a moment
Her music was lost.

Each voice was so big
And hers was so small,
She couldn’t quite tell
If they’d heard it at all.

But the north winds were ancient,
And so very wise
That they looked past her outside-
Looked deep in her eyes,

And there they saw magic,
They hummed to her song,
And they warmed – just a little,
They danced right along!

They blustered beside her,
They saw and they knew
Her music was magic…
And meant to shine through!

Then Octavia said…………..

“If you’ve farther to go
May I please come along?
I’ve got music inside me to share
And a song”

“We know,” said the North winds
“It’s there in your eyes,
It’s your gift for the giving,
Your hearts own surprise.

And we never imagined
Though we’re very old,
How our own heart’s had changed-
Had grown silent and cold.

“Well,” said Octavia, because she
was getting a little impatient and
a lot excited, “shall we go?”
And the North winds, because they
understood and were very
polite said “Of course”.

And they traveled together,
The winds and a spider,
And she stretched to hold onto
The ice-air beside her.

She stretched and she strained
Pointed every last toe,
There were forty in all
Reaching out into snow!

Mile after mile she went,
Storm after storm
She stretched higher & higher-
She was weary and worn.

But she didn’t give up because
she knew little by little and
note-by-note the music inside
her was trickling out.
She felt it.

She reached up & held on
Past cloud & past star
Till the music inside her
Rang clear and afar.
Till she shimmered & glimmered
Like lace in rain
From her song spilling over her
Time & again.

And the North winds remarked
How she’d grown full of light
They could feel she had changed
And that very night…

When they thought to look back
They saw she had gone!
And all that was left
Was her music and song.

The spider had vanished!
There wasn’t a trace,
But high in the winter sky
There! In her place…

One bright smiling snowflake!
…Octavia’s tune had washed
Over her, changed her,
And there by the moon-

There, in that snowflake-
Were Octavia’s eyes
Revealing and matching
Her heart undisguised.

And the city below
Seemed to beckon and call
And it danced when
Octavia flurried to fall.

And that is why, if you
listen to snowflakes falling,
very closely and with the ears
of your imagination, you will
hear Octavia’s music. And who knows,
there’s a chance, you might even dance!

© Willow Marie Power 1999

My work draws on my Celtic background, love of myth and ballet and has been featured in print as well as in recital and dance at conferences and festivals. My work began appearing in poetry journals in 1994 and in 1999 I was the 1st prize recipient of the Canadian Authors Association (National Capital Region) award in the children’s short fiction category for my fairy tale “Octavia”.
In 1998, I published a chapbook of poetry, “Dancing Toward Winter” and this April, my first e-book “.real. Coming of Age – Keeping our Soul.” It’s a collection of poetry and short stories that explores women’s experiences of spirituality and coming of age.
I’m currently working on two new books for publication later this year.
More of my work can be found on my website: Willow-Marie.real.


About vision791

Pushcart nominee Jeanette Cheezum has been published on several online writing sites and in fifteen Anthology books and four poetry books. Three of these books have made the New York Times Best Sellers list. Awarded The Helium Networks Premium Writer’s Badge, Bronze Creative Writing Award and a Marketplace Writers award. Recently she has published fourteen ebooks at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. You may find a list of some of her work at www.hamptonroadswriters.org
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