How not to complain

Too tired to ripen,
late tomatoes hang
obdurately green from
withered vines,  their yellowing

lattice home, now, to an
orb-weaver, Araneus
gemmoides,  whose
tiny cat face, etched

on her ballooning
abdomen, blesses
me when I kneel

to consider each sacrifice
on the gossamer altar:
What’s required to live,

and what, to die;
whether it’s the same.

Rain takes her web,
then wind. Each night,
she recreates what
the day destroys,

an architecture that
shames all others
in elegance, in

efficacy, her striated
legs a fever of
artistry, of industry.

I study spider, learn
at her eight feet:

How to continue;
how not to complain.

At some unknowable
hour, she will lay
dozens of eggs,
wrap them in her

toughest silk against the
coming winter.  Then
announce by absence
her quiet death.

I will not see the rest,
the ruin or realization
of her labor. But keep
her memory through

 snow and cold, pray
her young through
sleep into spring:

The opening of her carefully
woven womb.  Their clustering
and feeding; the first casting

of their small silk into
the depths of the world.







  1. I, too, have been contemplating the meaning of life lately. I’m thinking it may be as simple as doing the best you can until you can’t, and then surrendering as gracefully as you can. Humanity has moved so distant from Nature in so many ways, and yet so much learning is to be found there. Peace. 🙂 -Russ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed. Our most reliable and profound teachers are different species, down to the smallest. Peace to you as well, Russ.


  2. Beautiful! [Little beings merit big pauses, poems.]

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, they do! Thanks, Jazz. Since I wrote this poem, I’ve discovered another, much larger cat-faced spider in my white fir. I visit both during their nocturnal activity, including re-building their webs, as they stay well-hidden by day.

      Liked by 1 person

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