Offcourse Literary Journal

Two Poems, by Richard Fein.

Arachnid Siren

Do they weave their webs in silence?
Certainly hungry ones can sense the frantic tapping,
the percussion of the trapped, the thumping of the doomed.
But do the doomed simply fly into victimhood
or are they lured by seductive melodies
played by spun silver oscillating in the wind?
Stretched along the forest floor, does a gossamer lute play
soprano or bass, love songs or lullabies?
Are webs wind harps in the dank foliage,
dew-heavy cords playing cryptic tunes?
Webs stitch the forest floor together,
twig to twig, leaf to leaf, hunters to hunted
into a deadly tangle that's the grid of this microworld.
Below is a fabric spread out grander than a Chinese emperor's robe,
is this silken cloth also a deadly instrument?
When a breeze hustles through the trees
does the meshwork become a Muse's lyre
whose humming strings fog a thousand victims' eyes?
Do the vibrating strands gleam in the morning sun?
And are ears seduced by crystal notes and hypnotic hums?
Goliath that I am,
safe above the deadly snares beneath my feet,
do all the familiar serenades sung in my world
deafen me to music of other worlds?




He had seen maggots before, a dead dog, a decapitated cat white bones exposed like a half-peeled rotten banana, but here a human form was out of place.
He ran out of the weeds to mom. He wasn't allowed to reenter the weeds, though the lot was his second home, and he had seen maggots before.
Dead transient they said.
He didn't know what a transient was, or why it should be dead. Mom held him close; the police gave him candy.
He overheard,"Nightmares for life, poor little kid." He cried, knowing the louder he cried the more candy he'd get.
He knew maggots, he had seen them before. They waited for things that fell and couldn't get up.
When mom once talked about grandma flying to heaven, he imagined maggots below.
And he remembered the spider he once saw floating in air.
He saw a miracle before his eyes, until the sun betrayed a silken thread that tied the bug to a branch, a branch that he could touch or tear.
Nothing flies skyward without rockets, sails, or wings.
He knew this and he knew maggots. He held his mother tight, and lost his taste for candy.
Later at bedtime, he asked mom to read a fairy tale, so that he could sleep and dream of last spring when grandma had pushed him on a swing.


Richard Fein has appeared in Offcourse #12 and has been published in many print and web journals. He has two personal web sites with some of his poetry and photography. Look in Photo album and Poems.



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