from My Travels Among the Spiders


from My Travels Among the Spiders

Sometimes, during the spring after rain
I hear the love-ruined voices
of spiders at night, walking in the trees
outside my window, stitching up lamp-light
and darkness in the limbs and leaves.

Several times before, I have stepped
quietly downstairs and hidden behind
the Privet hedge in my garden, shining
with a flashlight for the blue sparks
of spider eyes at night. I love to watch

the secret spiders play as they defy
our best-kept law—floating, mid-air, in
and out of light. I often have noticed
their legs, so much longer than stars.
Sometimes, when they are at their worst,

patching up all the trees with passion,
I have known them to stretch some fallen star
into strings of light across my usual
garden path. On these occasions,
I walk unawares into their feathery embrace.

For a moment, I am held like Gulliver
by the tiniest

of threads until I move
in the surge of my surprise and silver lines
pull loose from their moorings
in the limbs. It is then, in all directions,

that spiders abandon their play and run
on silken legs to hide their turquoise eyes
in the canopy of shadows and leaves.