Mice Dance To the Spiders’ Applause by Stephanie Brennan, Artwork by Deborah Sheehy

6 Mar

Creatives Making A Difference

‘Supporting Mental Health’

LONELINESS Collaboration

Welcome to the first collaboration in a six week, fortnightly engagement with the feeling of Loneliness.  For this particular collaboration we have paired 3 artists and 3 poets together.  The poets have written a poem around this particular emotion and then passed it to the artists for their interpretation. The artist can work in parallel with the themes  within the poetry or in contrast. In so doing we’re attempting to artistically and accessibly engage with the feeling of loneliness. Each pairing is different so  we’re hoping to create a range of interpretations that might communicate something to everybody. The poets and artists have been exchanging  ideas over a number of weeks and what you’ll be seeing as the 6 weeks roll by is the diverse expression of that exchange. We hope to turn our mental health collaborations into an exhibition next year and an online resource. 

 Your feedback on this project would be very much welcomed.


This week’s collaboration features

Stephanie Brennan and Deborah Sheehy 


Dancing Mice

Dancing Mice by Deborah Sheehy

. .

Mice Dance to the Spiders’ Applause

 by Stephanie Brennan


A latchkey kid small for her age
she balanced on a bucket,
unlocked the door
to a dark house where
mice scurried in the walls, and
spiders accumulated in corners.
A 40-watt bulb swayed from a cord.
She tossed her stories on the floor:
a dice game of classmates in cliques,
whispers of a skirt too long, of shoes all wrong.
In the corners
the mice pirouetted,
the spiders spun their silk,
but still she would not smile.
Hiding behind her slack dark hair
at the back of the class
the answers shimmered
in the weighted sunlight,
but she never raised her hand.
At her desk she sketched a mouse.
A spider curtsied, extended four arms
a perfect waltz across the page,
but still she would not smile.
As she grew boys took notice.
One, a shape-shifter,
escorted her home to meet his mum.
That genteel lady sized her up
deemed her unworthy of her sizable plans
for her obedient boy.
Alone in her room
the white mice pranced
on pink feet
to the spiders’ applause,
but still she would not smile.
On a pitch-black, moonless, starless night
she questioned her resolve.
But then she set herself to dream,
and when she woke
a song was fully-formed.
She got up out of bed, 
and heard her voice ascend.
The notes were clear and loud and long
the lyrics sad and true.
The mice sat rapt, the spiders stilled,
her ballad soared to light-filled halls.
To her surprise, a chorus echoed
to prove she’s not alone
The mice and spiders leapt to cheer
demanding encore, please
she bowed from the waist
and when she rose
a half-formed smile, a crescent moon
and tears and tears, of laughter


Stephanie Brennan:

Stephanie Brennan lives among the redwoods and fog in Sonoma County, California. She’s been writing fiction for many years, some of which may be found online at: People Do Things With Their Lives. Recently she has ventured into poetry having fallen in love with the tanka and haiku writers on Twitter. She finds the online community of poets an invaluable resource for learning and support. Her recent publication credits include: Poetry Nook, Bright Stars 1, and Bamboo Hut. Find her short Twitter poems @tantamount2, and her poetry site: Restraint Unfettered.


Deborah Sheehy

In the times in between life and a day job Deborah is an artist, writer and occasional photographer. Scottish by birth, she currently resides in the hills, paths, and narrow streets of a South Wales valley. Home is shared with her Irish husband – a maker of marvellous meals – and a hound called Henry whose days are spent in a happy amble of walks, sleeps and rubs. Inspiration comes primarily in the form of nature, especially the wild and deserted places and the creatures who reside there, as well as the stories, myths and happenings of times gone by. http://www.thehoneybeeandthehare.com/ https://twitter.com/honeybeeandhare You can see Deborah’s Weekend Showcase here . The second Loneliness collaboration post will be on Monday 17th March. Do come back and see how poet Charlie Winters and photographer Jeremy Moseley  engage with the very same feeling. If you would like to get involved with one of our  future collaborations or opportunities. Do get in contact via the contact form on the What’s On Page or via @ArtiPeeps. Thank you so much for your interest. .

One Response to “Mice Dance To the Spiders’ Applause by Stephanie Brennan, Artwork by Deborah Sheehy”


  1. Mice Dance to the Spider’s Applause - March 8, 2014

    […] three artists and three poets of which Stephanie and I are the first. Please do have a look at the original Artipeeps post for full details and to enjoy the workings of many talented and creative […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: