30 Days Hath September 2016 | Day 17 | September by Robin Chapman

September 17, 2016

BEI 30 Days Proposed Graphic

September by Robin Chapman


Yesterday, early, I walked uphill

though a long green tunnel

of trees and stopped to see,

in all that cool shade, a spoked web,

shimmering iridescent midair,

the center empty of all save

eight guide lines and central knot.

Silk segments circled all the rest

of space, a net of light: and on its outer

edge, a tiny spider, still adding lines

to its made thing. Overhead, light

filtered through the leaves

of oaks and hickories, the cardinal

repeated his sunlit claims of territory

beyond the limits of my breath.


I walked on to harvest kale

and chard in a garden beaded

with dew on every edge and vein

of leaf—saw in the low-lying mist

that webs, funneled and orbed,

covered the field in the spiders’

own morning hunt for the bountiful

fruit-fly hatch in the grapes.


Robin Chapman is author of eight books of poetry, most recently the eelgrass meadow

(2011), honorably mentioned for the Posner Poetry Award, and One Hundred White

Pelicans (2013), poems of climate change from Tebot Bach. She is recipient of

Appalachia's 2010 Poetry Prize and has collaborated with photogravure artist Peter

Miller, pairing her poems with 23 of his gravures in the portfolio Dappled Things (Paris:

Revue K). Her poems have appeared recently in Alaska Quarterly Review, Flyway,

Tamsen, and Terrain. A book, Six True Things, poems about growing up in the

Manhattan Project town of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is forthcoming from Tebot Bach.


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