Sunday, 17 March 2013


Woke up this morning to the sight of a silken strand stretched between the house and the clothesline, a huge distance, and scurrying across it like a super confident rope walker over the Niagara Falls was a little spider.

She traversed the distance several times as I was having a coffee and feeding the dogs and I had to marvel at her dexterity and aplomb.  She seemed not the slightest bit fazed by the height between her silken thread and the ground which if you equated it to human v spider proportions was huge.


Today I saw a spider’s web attached to my clothesline
a thin and silken filament stretched to a neighbours pine
tree which was right across the yard ,indeed over my fence.
An engineering miracle – though hardly a defence.

The arachnid that  made this fine, light, strong and silvered thread
was smaller than my fingernail – she rested in her bed
of  filigree and curlicues, seeming quite contented
bedecked with dew-drop diamonds , as she feasts on moth fermented.

To crawl this twenty foot of silken thread would be a task
that a man, though full of courage , would hesitate to ask
himself to do – though some have  rope walked o’er   Niagara’s falls
 alone, daredevils every one whose daring us enthrals.

And yet this little spider shuttled back and forth each day
oblivious to danger or to falls along the way.
Supremely confident her silken rope would break her fall
were it to part company with clothesline, pine and wall.

And so it came to pass and seems that this girl knew her stuff.
The wind rose, started blowing hard, it gave a mighty puff
 that silken thread and clothesline quickly parted company
as  Hills Hoist whirled off merrily – flew round and round in glee.

But that filament of silk just drifted in the errant breeze
with my spider mate just clinging on – nonchalant as you please.
The line wafted down slowly, came to rest upon the wall
then Mrs Spider disembarked , unperturbed by it all.

Maureen Clifford ©

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