untitled (Wordle 9)

the spider lets out
threads of gossamer
yet for their thickness
stronger than steel
and she never allows
them to become tangled
she’ll just break them
and make some more

she builds her home
in the sky, etches
in the very atmosphere
her place where she traps
and feeds and raises her young

she is not a creature
of bone, not like the humans
who dream of flight
or even the birds
with their hollow bones
who manage flying
from telephone wire to branch

without bones
her architecture is different

she hangs suspended
in her airy temple
light everywhere
no need for windows

as her babies hatch
she tells them the stories
they need to hear
how to trap prey
where to build a home

and the stories
that fill their souls
she points at the sparks
in the sky and tells them
they are stardust
everything around them
is stardust
they are sacred sparks
that she is sending out
to brighten the night sky

they let out a bit of gossamer
and they wait for it
to wave in the breeze
moving like serpents
then they let go
of their mother’s gossamer
and float out on their own

if she had eyelids
she’d close them to slits
watching her children
float away
but she can’t
so she just holds on
feeling the vibration
as each one lets go

/ / /

This poem was written in response to Wordle 9 at The Sunday Whirl. A whole week late, but better late than never.


27 thoughts on “untitled (Wordle 9)

  1. Oh for Charlotte’s sake, Mr. Walker, you’ve given teachers everywhere a piece to tie poetry in with Charlotte’s Web. I’m in love with this poem, it was worth the wait of a week. Some pig, ha! Some poet’s more like it…..(she mutters off into the distance of her day…)

    • Brenda, thank you. I wear my influences on my sleeve, apparently. I did have Charlotte in the back of my mind as I wrote. I think that’s the appeal of the character of Charlotte, those wondrous words; she was a poet, just one or two words at a time.


  2. I have to comment again, because I just read it again. This reads like a dream. It rocks my world, Richard. You make reader me love spiders, the way I loved Charlotte. This is splendid, absolutely splendid. This poem makes my day.

  3. Brenda is right, this is gorgeous and you haven’t even gone through and revised. Do. The poem is already stunning in this form. What a way to use those words. Where on earth did it come from? I want process notes on this! I am so glad you posted it.


    • Margo, thank you. That’s what’s fun and interesting about writing a poem from those wordle words; it can be magical, so much fun to write because it’s all about discovering as you go.

      Process Notes (from memory): I started with “gossamer”, that was the word that called out to me first, so that was my entry point. But I didn’t want to use some gossamer fabric, and then “tangled” followed quickly thereafter. Once I had decided(?) on gossamer as spider silk, then it just flowed; it became about a mama spider.

      It was fun playing with “bone” because it spoke directly to that idea of spiders not having bones but exoskeletons. I have to say I’m taken with that idea, that the architecture of a body guides the architecture that body builds.

      And then it was playing with ideas I’d already touched on, and then incorporating “stories” and fitting in some of those other words: sparks and stardust. And then the babies going off on their own. I had to research online whether or not spiders have eyelids. I was stuck on “slits” and almost left it out entirely.


  4. OK…add my accolades to the rest. Charlotte’s Web was the ONLY thing that didn’t make me scream at spiders when I was a kid–and there were some BIG ones on the farm! But this, Richard, definitely makes the grown-up me LOVE spiders.

    And I absolutely love these lines:

    she hangs suspended
    in her airy temple
    light everywhere
    no need for windows

    I’m never disappointed when stopping by for recess.

    šŸ™‚ Paula

    • Paula, thanks. Charlotte’s Web clearly has so many fond memories for so many people; a big shout-out to E. B. White. I’m glad that you and others are responding well to the subject matter. Honestly, I’m a little creeped out by spiders, and yet I’m fascinated by them as well. Thanks again for stopping by for a little recess.


  5. Richard, your use of the word “gossamer” alone was worth the read. The thrumming rhythm of the spider’s web, along with its strength and usefulness, is a true miracle of nature. Also, your comparing their fragile shell to the light, yet boned, birds, as well as the more heavily skeletoned humans, very nice. Altogether a wonderful use of the prompt words! Amy

    • Amy, thanks so much. I posted some process notes above for Margo, so I truly appreciate your picking up on my use of “gossamer”. That was the word that got this poem started. And I agree; it is a miracle of nature. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful words.


  6. And she dances daintily
    On tip toes
    Across shimmering strands
    In amazing grace.

    Piroutting gently
    About a thread that glows
    She twists and turns
    In rhythm of time and space.

    And you get us all into a poetic mood over spiders too with this piece of yours. šŸ™‚

    • carefreewanderer, I too am a little creeped out by spiders; some of them are too hairy for me and move too quickly. And yet I’m fascinated by them as well. I have taken so many pictures of beautiful spider webs I’ve seen while hiking. It’s definitely a love/hate relationship, but this poem asked me to focus on the love.


  7. You’ve managed to make a beautiful and touching poem about spiders, really enjoyed this from beginning to end. Shall look at spiders differently from now on. šŸ™‚ Thank you.

  8. Richard, how can anyone not like, or at least appreciate, spiders after having read this poem? I agree that it could be one that you could use in school!

    • Mary, thank you. Yes, let’s hope there’s more appreciation. I think I might just use this one in school. I agree with Brenda; it would go nicely with Charlotte’s Web.


  9. Your humanization of the spider by having it tell its young stories was a wonderful touch, but her feeling the vibrations as they let go gave her all the emotions we feel. This is great, Richard. I just found it, and I’m so glad I did. I hope everything went well on your vacation.

    • Mike, thank you. I’m glad you found it and that you liked it. As always, thank you for your kind and thoughtful words. I always enjoy reading your responses.


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