Posts Tagged ‘spider’

When fear scuttled through her thoughts
with its eight slender legs; when she recognized
the shiny black body, the bulbous abdomen;
when fear found all her corners and began
to weave inside her mind a home of steel-strong silk;
she did not try to befriend the fear.
Nor did she try to squash it,
though she had a sturdy book.

Not that she wasn’t afraid. In fact,
fear seemed reasonable, if she threatened the fear first.
Instead, as if she were her own sweet child,
she took herself by the hand
and walked right up to the web to explore—
noted the upper structural threads,
the tangle threads in the middle,
the vertical threads in the bottom designed to trap.

Every day she walked back to the web
and stared wide-eyed at the fear hanging upside down,
and then she’d leave and wander
in other rooms where there was low-angled light
the way Renoir might have painted it,
or rooms of flowers, or rooms of song,
rooms of laughter, rooms of starlight,
warm rooms with nothing in them at all.

Eventually she could predict where the fear would be.
Could walk right to its brand new web.

We couldn’t say she liked the fear there.
We couldn’t say she didn’t miss it when it left.

We could say she found a way not to feed it.
We could say that while it lived in her,
she found a way to meet it.

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One Small Act

after watching hundreds killed in the thriller
I find a spider in my bathroom—
so gently I deliver it outside

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The Way the Spider Does

That is the way

I would like to meet the world,

my work both beautiful

and useful,

bringing into any

dark corner a lattice

for gathering light.

And though I may

be feared, hated, reviled,

still, I’d show up,

delicate and fierce,

I’d show up.

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When you wrote of the spider

launching through vacant space,

reeling from one sphere of meaning


to another, you didn’t know then

that you wrote that poem for me.

Two centuries later, this woman


reads about the bridges we are all

trying to form, and Walt, damned

if that wasn’t filament coming out


through your electric fingers.






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So beautiful,

this tiny red and white spider

I forget to shudder

and for a moment,

the war between want

and don’t want

is silenced.

It continues its journey

along the car door.

I walk away, slightly

more spider

than I was before.


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