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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Worldwide Web Of Mind

Rating: 2.0
The spider with which, with whom,
I share the sunshine of these late summer days
and the front garden – though in truth,
the silver filigree denies me two-thirds of it,
so broad the span of this ambitious engineer –

the spider which or who has grown so large
that its claws are some rapacious hawk in miniature,
almost scary in their taloned, threatening curve,
and which yesterday sat immobile in the centre of its web
either sleeping, or awaiting, or perhaps both,

is not there today; and I recall that yesterday
it had a silvery bag attached to it, which now I guess
could be some exquisite womb worn like a jewelled pride
which needs no protection..the web’s undamaged
so surely no marauding bird has pecked the spider
from the undamaged centre of this web?

Where has the spider chosen, for its special day,
Its birthing place, its private ward –
and does it have its huge emotions in miniature,
its pride, its special love, around that tiny thing?
There is no clue; the guy-ropes of its web are silent.
Will I see it in the next few days
teaching its baby all its circus tricks,
abseil, swing, launch in the wind to far-off unknown lands?

Or is it true that, having borne a little brood,
this creature, so magniificent,
gives its life to them, to c arry on the silken line?
does it know that sacrifice it makes
which is as noble as that of any man?
and will its brood also carry in their blood
a memory, inherited, that there,
across the front garden, six feet from East to West,
that silken line their mother made -
their only inheritance from her, apart from life itself,
awaits their darning needle?

I inspect carefully the web, as one might inspect
and read the menu for some blind lunching friend;
amused a little, embarrassed a little, solemn a little,
as the Creation’s relative dimensions
shrink, expand, draw me into the web of universal mind;
a filigree humility; a life not owned but shared.
Michael Shepherd
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COMMENTS
Alison Cassidy 29 September 2006
Michael, this is written like lace - and so sad it made me cry. I remember reading Charlottes' Web to my children and the four of us were in tears at the end? The mother spider dies once her little ones are born, but your poem lives on in honour of her and her industry and the delicacy of her architecture. Stunning piece. love, Allie xxxxxxxxxxxx
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