Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spider Zero

A week ago, across from the path leading up to the pond, this hardy March spider posed at the exact center of the zero on a house number sign. Snow still on the ground, ice on the pond, and -- strangely -- spider on the cold metal zero. Bull's-eye! I was able to get one shot right up close (he/she patiently waited for me), but when I blinked, the spider had vanished. The striking black and white pattern the spider had formed was like a fleeting, coded message, if only I could decipher it.

Here's another bull's-eye from poet Paul B. Roth, "Invisible":


I know well
the black spots
in apple leaves

I'm intimate
with the moist dust
each eaten center

with blonde-green
threading webs
through each one
of these holes

and who
when they see me
through this emptiness

by balling up
as if each
were one
of my unknown selves

-- Paul B. Roth

This piece is part of Paul Roth's beautiful and whispered collection, Cadenzas by Needlelight: Three Winters of Poems from Cypress Books (Rio Rico, Arizona, 2009). When someone whispers, you listen. "Invisible" was first published in Timber Creek Review. To read an excellent review of the book, visit Cerise Press online. "Invisible" is reprinted here with the author's permission.

The spider also reminded me of a poem that was one of my favorites as a teenager, "Design" by Robert Frost. You can read this poem on The Academy of American Poets Web site.

Pond update: Instant frogs! When I walked up to the pond this morning, the frogs had arrived. I could hear the loud chuckle-grunt of their mating calls from the road. When I got up there, there were countless sparkling little heads at the surface of the water. Noticing me, they suddenly disappeared underwater and all went silent. I was patient and quiet until the wild song began again. I stayed for a long stretch, surrounded by the noisy action. Then I heard rustling in the leaves. More frogs were appearing, converging on the pond, leaping toward the water from several directions. (And those were amazingly long, eager leaps!) I've never witnessed their actual arrival before. Lucky. (You can read two previous posts about the pond by scrolling down.)

The photograph was taken 3/10/10. Click on image to enlarge.


Deborah Batterman said...

Hooray for spring! I think that spider knew there was only one place to be, for the moment.

Christine said...

It was the perfect pose. Loved it. And tomorrow: official spring!

C.M. Mayo said...

What a startling photo & gorgeous poem!

Christine said...

Thanks, Ms. Mayo! I will forward your compliments to the author!

Patrice said...

Yes, yes, wonderful poem. Thank you for sharing this poet!

And your photographs? Amazing...

Christine said...

Thanks for coming back, Patrice! I'm so glad I could introduce you to Paul's wonderful poetry.