The Web

Submitted by Ronald E. Shields

This morning where beam meets post on the porch
a barn spider has spun her concentric polygons,
a trap wired with a warning system I test with my finger.
The spider scrambles from her den in anticipation of a feast of fly,
this orb weaver with the bright yellow rune no one can decipher.

Woodpeckers begin appearing this time of year,
busy drilling as leaves drop from trees undressing
in the soft yellow glare of the low afternoon sun.

Soon the hummingbirds will begin the journey south to Mexico,
pollinating their way across the Sonoran Desert.

Already v’s of geese are appearing beneath curdling clouds.
Some of the garden birds will follow,
though many will winter over in pines and evergreen shrubs.

Change vibrates constantly along the strands in this web of existence.
Still, there can be a moment when realization takes hold,
clears the fog in our eyes and we become aware of our dependence
on this vast, intricate fabric.

I watch the barn spider and think how alike we are in our ways –
anticipating, waiting on the threads so necessary to our livelihood.
And so we are connected in this web to all our kin,
alive to the chemical messages, in their cryptic bonds
passed in whispers through our blood.


Are you a poet? Send us your best work!
Photo Credit: Vera Cauwenberghs – Kunstschilder toile d’araignée


Published by

The Vita Brevis Team

“Ars longa, vita brevis" (art is long, life is short). This maxim so moved us that it seemed only right to title our online poetry magazine after it. It may seem curious that we chose Vita Brevis (life is short) as our title instead of Ars Longa (art is long). But this choice was more than appropriate; after all, the aim of our journal is to publish work that shows a keen awareness of not only art’s beauty and immortality but life’s toils and finiteness. We want to revive and nourish the rich existential literature that forms when art and the human endeavor collide.

5 thoughts on “The Web”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s