New #Arachnids Are Not Insects Day poetry challenge featuring Z D Dicks, Rachael Ikins, Anjum Wasir Dar, Ankh Spice, Carrie Etter, Debbie Strange, Neal Zetter, Lisa Johnston, Amy Evans Bauer, Lucy Whitehead, Colin Bancroft, Ankh Spice, Jim Start and myself. This is a totally separate opportunity from the insect challenge. No insects are here, except as prey. Submit your Spider poems here.

Monday: Spiders

Rachael Ikins orb weaver

Orb Weaver by Rachael Ikins

image0

Spider by Debbie Strange

a spider web

strummed by soft breezes . . .

we can

almost hear the song

of morning dew

Ephemerae 1C, Nov/18

-Debbie Strange

Amy Evans Spinnaret

-Dr. Amy Evans Bauer

Conor Kelly The Writing Spider

-Conor Kelly

Karner Blue

‘…a place called Karner, where in some pine barrens, on lupines, a little blue butterfly I have described and named ought to be out.’

Vladimir Nabokov

Because it used to be more populous in Illinois.

Because its wingspan is an inch.

Because it requires blue lupine.

Because to become blue, it has to ingest the leaves of a blue plant.

Because its scientific name, Lycaeides melissa samuelis, is mellifluous.

Because the female is not only blue but blue and orange and silver and black.

Because its beauty galvanizes collectors.

Because Nabokov named it.

Because its collection is criminal.

Because it lives in black oak savannahs and pine barrens.

Because it once produced landlocked seas.

Because it has declined ninety per cent in fifteen years.

Because it is.

– Carrie Etter

Early morning sailing

This ship of bones slips its moorings,

unslept, mapping wet

green currents

from porch to fence. In the east wind

of a new day all at sea, an orb-weaver

has draped her gifts; kind spokes

for my navigating. A dewed abacus, hawsers

struck with light – this vessel will hold

for one more day.

So if I ever tell you

‘I am tired of spiders’

their shimmerstring snares set

to catch the earth’s exhales, as morning

kicks open every sense

with the stupid magic of sailing bodies,

if I ever tell you this, know

there is a poet’s husk to plant –

stake out his ribs

for the finest webs.

-Ankh Spice

Tarantula Down Your Toilet

I’m the tarantula down your toilet

Your prowler in the pan

I want to bite and frighten you

Whatever way I can

I’ll nibble on your bottom

I’ll stalk you on the seat

‘Cause yes you’ve guessed

That human flesh

Is what I love to eat.

I’m the tarantula down your toilet

I’ve chosen here as home

Don’t linger on the loo too long

While playing with your phone

For when I’m feeling hungry

My fangs will make their mark

You’d better switch the light on

If you enter after dark.

I’m the tarantula down your toilet

You’ll hear me splash about

Prod me, poke me, push me

But I’m never moving out

I could live in your cupboard

Your kitchen, loft or shed

Yet in this bowl is where I roll

And where I’ve made my bed.

I’m the tarantula down your toilet

Who’s causing you dismay

Don’t get ideas to calm your fears

By flushing me away

My kingdom is your bathroom

Where I can wander free

So pick a new location

When you have the need to pee

-Neal Zetter

Arachne

Weave words into each web

Those that ask forgiveness for mortal misgivings

Lintel scaffold with hanging thread

A grim reminder of shame and pride

Athena’s touch brought life

But what life is this trapped in tragic tangles

Where snagged raindrops mimic tears

Their wet globes a shining taunt to eight dry eyes

Feel vibrations shimmer silken lines

Heavy with cocooned memories

Mummified bundles of what came before

And will now never return

Tapestries woven on two legs

Whilst fast fingers wound warp weights

Sunlight spun into yarn as it warmed skin

Wisps of cloud layered in to lighten fabric

With colours added from rainbow wild flower palette

Its joyous creation celebrated with birdsong

As nature marvelled at how such beauty could appear from human hands

And what beauty it was, enough to turn a gods head

That too much was said from those ungrateful lips

Challenge came and judgment passed

Loom lost to goddess’ fury

So now all that’s left

Is that daily task of radial construction

Abdomen’s endless thread guided by leg

to form hypnotic spiral

Hung out as a handkerchief

A catch all for housemaids curses

-Lisa Johnston

Spider

I am watching a spider crawl

in circles, anticlockwise,

toward the centre of its web,

meting out its sticky silk,

deft legs weaving the thread,

pulling the weft taut, letting it go,

while wind buffets the doily

of elastic lace,

an almost invisible spiral

against the grey-bright clouds

woven so tightly it could trap

the tiniest wings.

Two centimetres from the centre

the spider stops and leaves a gap,

weaves itself a little seat,

a transparent lily pad. I wonder

if it grew tired, on the hottest

day of the year, or decided

to weave some emptiness

into its web

to let the breeze

blow through.

(A version of this poem was originally published in Amethyst Review, Ed. Dr Sarah Law, 19 December 2019)

-Lucy Whitehead

Spider in the Bath

We have all known the context of its struggle;

Up through the tunnelling darkness

Towards the smallest mote of light.

How long it climbs

It cannot say, nor know anything of destination,

But it is compelled to move upwards to brightness.

And when it stands in the abyssal white plain

And sees nothing but the curvature of space and time,

The dumb blankness of the world it has inherited,

That it has earned from its journey through blackness,

What can it do but wait, stupefied by the truth

Of an existence that tilts on the presence

Of a fate that comes to scoop

It up and drop it out of the window, back to a world

Coloured with distractions, wrapped in the shawls

Of infinity.

-Colin Bancroft

-ZZZHuntsman Spider poem by Z D Dicks

-Z D Dicks

Brotherhood of All Colors

With the advantage of two, antennae less,

With a desire for a journey to Antarctica

I, Loureedia Phoenixi just arrived from Iran

named after the famous actor villain ‘Joker’

For the Lord made me in the same image

with the red and white face, but black legs

I am not a racist spider, never would be, I

love all company, except ‘black widow’ and

‘Brown recluse’ both harm humans, both

live in the states, a family of Anthropods

‘hearing by the hair’ we velvet spiders are

charming and rare, collectively caring and

Community builders, striking a brotherhood

all colors, white black red white and brown.

Tiny but powerful, amazing in design and so

unique in action for three weeks on ground

You can see the movie Joker, but to see me

you will need a powerful magnifier machine

A spider with a strong velvet dress, a job to

contain the insects from devastating harvests

Discovering Loureedia spiders is challenging

for most of the year we rest in subterranean nests.

Anjum Wasim Dar

Copyright CER 2020

Eight Long Legs Adorned with Hairs

In corners of rooms and hidden under stairs
Under your bed , inside your shoe !!
Hairy ? , scary ? Monster ?
No it’s not true !
See me as your friend, a quiet housemate .
Won’t see me in the daytime , only when it’s late

=Jim Start

Pale Skin Over Bone

No muscle.

His arms a blackbirds legs.

With each visit his skull

more defined in hollows.

He says I have spiders

in my eyes even when I wear glasses

He asks for his specs cleaner.

and the blue plastic bowl

that blows.

-Paul Brookes

Camera360_2015_6_2_083945

Bios And Links

-Lisa Johnston

is based in the West Midlands and started writing poetry two years ago. She enjoys taking part in local Spoken Word events and recently appeared at PoArtry for Wolverhampton Literary Festival 2020, There is No Planet B, World Poetry Day, Positive Poetry, MHAW and World Oceans Day. Her work has been included in anthologies and most recently as part of the Haiflu project, a national project recording poetic responses to lockdown. She currently works to promote arts and culture in her local area through community projects.

-Carrie Etter

has published four collections of poetry, most recently The Weather in Normal (UK: Seren; US: Station Hill, 2018), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. Her poems have appeared in Boston Review, The New Republic, The New Statesman, The Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, Poetry Review, TLS, and many other journals and anthologies internationally. Her next publication is a pamphlet, The Shooting Gallery (Verve, October 2020), of two series of prose poems exploring the conjunction of youth and violence.

=Jim Start

is 39 from Cornwall. He is a lorry driver who writes poetry and is also working on an adult book about child abuse and a children’s book

-Amy Evans Bauer’s

recent and umbels (Jonathan Williams prize, Shirt Pocket, 2020) follows PASS PORT (Shearsman, 2018) as part of her at-sea SOUND((ING))S. Her poetry includes Stalking Gerard Manley Hopkins (Woodland Pattern, 2016), and features in Poetics for the More than Human World (2020), Chicago Review, Molly Bloom and elsewhere. https://goldsmiths.academia.edu/AmyEvansBauer

3 thoughts on “New #Arachnids Are Not Insects Day poetry challenge featuring Z D Dicks, Rachael Ikins, Anjum Wasir Dar, Ankh Spice, Carrie Etter, Debbie Strange, Neal Zetter, Lisa Johnston, Amy Evans Bauer, Lucy Whitehead, Colin Bancroft, Ankh Spice, Jim Start and myself. This is a totally separate opportunity from the insect challenge. No insects are here, except as prey. Submit your Spider poems here.

  1. Brotherhood of All Colors

    With the advantage of two, antennae less,
    With a desire for a journey to Antarctica
    I, Loureedia Phoenixi just arrived from Iran
    named after the famous actor villain ‘Joker’
    For the Lord made me in the same image
    with the red and white face, but black legs
    I am not a racist spider, never would be, I
    love all company, except ‘black widow’ and
    ‘Brown recluse’ both harm humans, both
    live in the states, a family of Anthropods
    ‘hearing by the hair’ we velvet spiders are
    charming and rare, collectively caring and
    Community builders, striking a brotherhood
    all colors, white black red white and brown.
    Tiny but powerful, amazing in design and so
    unique in action for three weeks on ground
    You can see the movie Joker, but to see me
    you will need a powerful magnifier machine
    A spider with a strong velvet dress, a job to
    contain the insects from devastating harvests
    Discovering Loureedia spiders is challenging
    for most of the year we rest in subterranean nests.
    Anjum Wasim Dar
    Copyright CER 2020

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