BRIDGES BACK HOME                               

Morning walks in cold September,

can’t remember quite so many in

other years: horizontal, silky threads,

eye level, spun by unseen spiders

across wider gaps than might be

believed to be of this world.

What flight of fancy this leap from

tree to gorse or gorse to tree?

I speculate that, in light of the

spider’s weight, he gives himself up

to the lightest breeze, leaving behind

one known domain to chance, alone,

another as yet obscure, uncharted,

blown in a moment to a new home.


And yet in theory the bridge is

spun with return in mind – a kind of

safety net should the spider find

his new realm not quite the thing.

His head is set to tip-toe back,

along the finest silken track to

erstwhile lodgings. But who has ever

seen this feat of showmanship?

One answer to this conundrum may be

that if a man is near enough to see,

he’ll walk through the bridge, inevitably,

and sever the tightrope made by the spider –

a not-so-clever end to the endeavour;

in a spider’s world, Catch 22.


And this may be today’s remember,

when your face lays waste the gossamer

walkway in the sky, the spider’s gambit:

all in a moment he decides to leap,

perfectly gauges the breeze from its

wooing of the leaves and just steps out –

no shout to build his bravery – and

spins that thread, as his maker said,

because (though he will not know it yet)

he may need to return to roots, to start afresh.

But, like other travellers who leave behind

one narrow road, one flimsy bridge, he

may need a kind blow to get back home

when the road is up and the way blocked.




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Martin Elder

Sun 12th May 2019 23:10

A beautiful description . I have to say that you have captured one of my favourite times of year, the early autumn.
Nice one Peter

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Sun 12th May 2019 22:29

I am reminded of a politician's use of the word spin Peter. Here you have us in your grasp as your story and thoughts unwind with attention to detail . It is a clever transition to the human soul's wanderings and umbilical chord back down the return to safety , if that makes sense.

Beautifully formed work; I hope you are in a better place than I feel you may have been in recently.


jennifer Malden

Sun 12th May 2019 08:25

Really liked this. Beautiful language and the allegory of our human lives. Leaving behind one known domain, to chance, alone, another as yet obscure. We have all had to do this in our lives, probably with return in mind. Will read it again and again. On a more practical level, was always fascinated by enormous brown and beige spiders' webs we used to find walking on the coast in the early morning. Each strand outlined by sun on the dewdrops, and incredibly strong, almost like nylon. You could pull them quite hard without beaking them.


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