migration of spiders
After eight years, I feel the need for poetry again.
Today is solstice, time to turn the compost, and
I switch from south to north rim for hikes to the ridge,
The trail, mostly rocky basalt, dries quick
To the southern sun setting over the Mendo Mountains.
Sunlight at solstice splits the canyon, shadows point north.
The leafless scrub oak adumbrate the brown grass hills.
I pass a young man with a prosthetic leg and crutch;
I tell him he is awesome, he responds, “Sometimes,
you just have to get up and see the sun.” And, he’s right.
Spiders migrate on gossamer thread balloons and hope.
They string the barbed wire fencing the edge of the park,
Break free, and kite across the canyon and beyond.
Yesterday, I watched them on South rim, drift on thermals.
Spiders have travelled thousands of miles this way,
Inhabited distant islands, colonized far off lands, left.
Hundreds of silk filaments gently wrap around my body.
The shortest day fades into the longest night.
Sometimes, you just have poetry for such darkness.
A Noiseless Patient Spider
by Walt Whitman
A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.