Friday, October 10, 2008

fatal and hungry

In keeping with the last post, I found one of my favorite poems. I love this poem, the idea of the encounter...however, notice that it is the size of the arachnid in question (most likely Argiope Aurantia, given the fact that she's made her home in the pumpkin vines) that scares Piercy. Still, it's a beautiful poem, and makes me feel the fall that is creeping up around my windows.

Argiope
By Marge Piercy

Your web spans a distance
of two of my hands spread
turning the space between unrelated
uprights, accidental neighbors, fennel, corn
stalks into a frame. The patterned web
startles me, as if a grasshopper
spoke, as if a moth whispered.
The bold design cannot have
a predatory use: no fly,
no mite or wasp caught by its zigzag
as my gaze is. Then I see you,
big, much bigger than I feel
spiders ought to be. Black and gold
you are a shiny brooch with legs
of derricks. I remind you
I am a general friend to your
kind. I rescue your kinfolk
from the bathtub fall mornings
before I run the water. I
remind you nervously we are
artisans, we both make out
of what we take in and what
we pass through our guts a patterned
object slung on the world.
I detour your net carefully
picking my way through the
pumpkin vines. The mother
of nightmares fatal and hungry,
you kill for a living. Beauty
is only a sideline, and your mate
approaches you with infinite
caution or you eat him too.
You stare at me, you do not
scuttle or hide, you wait.
I go round and leave you mistress
of your territory, not in
kindness but in awe. Stay
out of my dreams, Hecate
of the garden patch, Argiope.

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