INTRODUCTION + POETRY + MUSIC + ESSAYS + TRAVEL + FICTION + TEXTILE ART + HAAG'S BIO
On a street of great houses
in the autumn, preparing for winter
with sycamores turning to cream and gold
under the pall, in the morning light,
in the Angel's city, not far
from where the riots burned two years ago,
where the blood and rage riot still,
walking in affluence, walking in the calm of ecstasy,
because you own nothing and you know nothing,
O Devayani, you saw a leaf, a sycamore leaf in mid air
turning, twisting, cavorting, gently swaying.
But there was no wind.
Perhaps there were hydrocarbons rising,
their warmth fingering the fragile-becoming-gold fall leaf,
touching it, their quarks knocking it about.
It moved, it drifted,
slower than your attention could account for,
toward the earth, yards from the nearest tree.
Far overhead were green leaves turning brown
on branches you had to change the angle of your head to see,
and, close to your nose, O Devayani this one brown leaf danced.
Being a sensible woman, and knowledgeable,
you knew it must be anchored by a spider's web.
You knew the golden orbed spider spins webs,
pound for pound, stronger than the cables that suspend
the Golden Gate. You knew that the secrets of her diet
and her molecules, her DNA and sexual proclivities
were under study at Washington's university.
What you did not know was whether or not the golden
orbed spider spins in the sycamores of the Angel's city.
The University, you knew, because you read carefully,
had enslaved their spiders in Florida.
O Devayani you approached the leaf.
You did not touch it. It swayed silently before your eyes.
Beneath one curled edge was a tangle of white web, but no spider,
no babies, no eggs, just a tangle of web, and two raggedy strands
that stretched from the hump of the curl, two strands that, within inches,
became one. The angle of these two strands was criss-crossed
with gossamer threads thinner than a single cotton fiber, thinner, almost,
than the molecules of the smog white air.
From their apex ascended a single strand, perhaps fifteen or twenty
feet, to the high overhead, mature, pink and white, cream-colored sycamore,
a noble native of the land where Angels of the city have imported
every kind of foreign and exotic bits of botany to conceal
from their eyes the natural cactus and sand of the land.
Being a visual and cortical animal, you stepped this way and that, knowing
that from some angle you could, indeed, would see the strand
three times taller than thee. And, O Devayani, you did.
A fine silver filament shimmered in the longing-to-be-sunshine light.
The leaf swayed.
It was lower now.
Did the spider intend simply to establish a highway to the ground?
Was she sitting far above you calculating when her leaf would touch earth,
eating flies, consuming her dinner to nourish
her web making capacity, her art?
As you stood at each angle to study the cluster of leaves of the branch overhead,
you saw, momentarily, O Devayani, a white vertical shield,
and being observant and having memory,
you knew that dew bespecked vertical shield was her web.
Even at that vast distance you could see its orderly filaments
formed an octagon or was it thirteen sided?
with a ragged extension at the bottom where the strand,
dangling the brown autumn leaf, began its descent
to astonish your eye.
You could see the filigreed web as you moved your head,
as you swayed this way and that below the tree,
caught by the leaf that was caught by the spider who,
by chance, displayed her awesome powers before eyes
that did not aspire to harness them.
O Devayani, you would never know if she were sister to the golden orb,
already under University of Washington microscopes, laboring innocently
to teach man to span elegantly, and perhaps needlessly, ever larger gaps.
Beauty, before 1996
Burning, 05-06 before 1996
- C -
to Cyberspace, 01-14-97
Frost Mourning, 01-30-00
The Empty Page, 12/18/97
Etruscan Goddess, 1997
Every Human, 01-12-98
Fed Up, 11-02-97
Feeding Frenzy, 1995?
In A Judeo-Christian-Islamic World, 05-04-00
Interstellar Space, 07-05-97
Lets Look At The Old Films Of India, 12-18-97
Micro Paleontology, 04-24-97
The Nafs, 12-26-97
No Constraint, 1-14-98
No Words, 1-10-98
Of Spiritual, 1-11-98
Palimpsest (Ecstasy), 11-16-97
Palimpsest I (Sphere), 11-17-97
Palimpsest II (Diana), 11-22-97
The Place Between, 1-3-98
Point of View, 7-5-97
The Roaring Silence of God, 4-3-95
Steady Drizzle, 04-28-97
Two Tomatoes, 1995-96?
The Woman Who Had No Necklaces, 10-26-97
Jan Haag may be reached via e-mail: email@example.com or
INTRODUCTION + HAAG'S BIO