Spider Serenade

Spider Serenade




tree branched

against a winter moon

spins her fine web

fragile  almost nothing

floating wisps

to grab faces in the dark

infectious whips

to lash insects lost without light


a spider’s web

diamond visible against the moon

intangible interlocking of lives


almost nothing

web of affections

splashed with moments

of pleasure

confused by the space beyond

only a light touch on the face

sound heard as echo


many movements of moments in time

leave me

brittle fragile

against a moon of confusions




so slight  nearly invisible

when I catch on your face

when we find each other in motion

caught in each other’s tangle

of sun


and awkward blindness 



This poem from 1972 is one of the oldest in the folder. The influence of Dylan Thomas is the first thing I saw as I was inputting this piece. His use of adjectives to enrich an image with more than colour – ‘infectious whips’ ‘diamond visible’ are a great examples of his influence. I can still feel that off-putting moment of walking into a spiderweb in the dark. Mildly alarming & icky. 

The transition from the actual spiderweb to the ‘web of affections’ is fairly smooth & the analogy is effectively sustained through the piece. The verses have an image structure rather than a strict rhythm or even line count like a sonnet. The moon appears in each of them – slightly different each time – theme & variation.

The last verse weaves images & words from the first two moon, web, diamonds etc into a tangle that catches us. By the time we get to this point we are familiar with the concepts & are lured into the moment.

This use of language was very deliberate & somewhat successful if one forgives the youthful romantic ardour of the piece. It talks of an idealized, very non-sexual, type of love as well. I wasn’t out but was aware that I was queer. I suspect the ‘awkward’ of the last line comes from my fears of reaching out, of wanting to present myself as a poet & not as a horned up teenager 🙂 The blindness comes from the fact that there were no guides to coming out or picking up guys at that time. No role models, no support systems. Me groping in the dark for context.

Hey! You can give me $$$ to defray blog fees & visit Cape Breton
sweet, eh? paypal.me/TOpoet

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