“A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood
An anarchistic spider–
I mark’d it where it crouched,
madly spinning luminous filaments
pitched to gales gusting over light-baked ledges
by a lake where a somnolent herd of its kind sat
sunning one late Ozark afternoon.
I mark’d as its compadres stirred
and scuttled over the hot sandstone table
toward a half-stale bar of pemmican
left out in my walnut bowl. The inspired one
kept spinning, trying to string
some invisible wind-lyre.
Honor to you, lone arachnid bard!
And you, O my bowl,
sun-warmed, in your limited compass complete,
concave conclave of great Earth’s harvest,
old camping friend useful, empty, and generous,
you thickcut brown concentric-banded
polished walnut branch become bowl,
my bowl in the sun, I mark well
how we hosted that hungry herd of spiders
in honor of a singular
minstrel of their kin.