Poem: The consolation of watching a spider – Lockdown 29



This next Lockdown Poem is a return to recording the moment, and the deepening sense of connection, and of something like mutual care, I am feeling with my place.  This growing sense of awe, and respect, and interdependence, is one of the things I hope to take forward from this time.  It’s one of the themes that is emerging from the Lockdown Poems.

Being in this strange space – a mixture of inaction and anxiety, peace and distress – may in time lead to a surer sense of purpose, and direction.  Not yet, though.  For now, we are in this threshold space, living with the pain of so much upended, so much loss, so many of our culture’s injustices and troubles revealed. It is challenging work, this learning how to“dwell in possibility” as Emily Dickinson says.  What might be possible if we increasingly experienced a deeper connection to the places where we live, and the communities of people and others we share them with? Can we be humble enough to recognise how dependent we all are on each other?


The pictures show some of the parts of our lawn we have left grow, down amongst the stems.  While not doing the full “no mow May” we have, as we did last year, noticed where the wild flowers are coming through, and left patches.  These patches are full of life.  I wasn’t able to catch a photo of the tiny spider, but you can at least see a little of a small creature’s perspective from down here!







The consolation of watching a spider  Lockdown 29

Morning.  Some sun,
and white clouds
like eiderdowns
stitched with blue.
I move on my mat
under the tree,
my movement patterned,
sequenced, releasing.

For a while,
I let the sadness
seep into the ground,
my face close to the earth,
let it seep into the earth
which then upholds me,
supports me.

I feel the gentle patter of
sycamore flowers falling
on my back,
shaken by the breeze.
I breathe where I am,
smell earth, and grass,

I look, and there
before my eyes is a
tiny spider, yellow,
with a black point
curving the end
of its abdomen,
spinning a web
between these
blades of grass,
back and forth,
back and forth,

many limbed,
weaving and weaving
like Persephone,
light and dark,
yet tiny next to the ant
and the aphids.

And I think, there
will be smaller things,
too, smaller than I can
see, worlds of strangeness
and complexity in this soil.
All this life,
I rest on all this life,
here, with me.


I have written about spiders, and weaving, before.  You can read those poems by following the links below.

Poem- Spider

Poem: Weaving – Unweaving



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