I first wrote Respect as a more ordinarily formatted poem, but I am presenting it below as a Haibun. This is an originally Japanese form of prose paired with a haiku. Haibuns lend themselves to experimentation of form.
Our intensive time in the house, these pandemic days, draws my attention to neighborhood non-human creatures. I also haven’t been cleaning the house as well. Which doesn’t make sense. I am sure this hasn’t happened to you. Stay Well.
Tinsel strands of the spider web inside our house glint with bits of rainbows. It is a disorganized web, not spokes and wheel but a thin thicket stretching from window to sill. Another is half-way up the glass, sturdy in its corner.
Who makes these messy tangles with silk so fine I only see them in the right light? The architects are not out tending their three-dimensional snares this morning. I know they are actively in residence because sprinkles of little bugs litter the sill.
Post research, having viewed medical photos of necrotizing bites and fang marks in swelling thighs I know too much about native venomous spiders. My Common House Spiders do bite but are not very dangerous to humans. I am grateful for another bit of wildness in the city, in my house, cellar, and garden. A second cougar in months was seen leaping over a fence near 15th and Judah.
I’ll probably sweep these webs down, eventually. However, the spiders create impressive piles of dead gnats. I will use gloves when I clean out the garage and shake out my pant legs.
Invisible House Spiders snare
sun-prisms and fruit flies.
Garden Spiders embroider webs
with dew-diamonds and silken death.
I live with exquisite predators.