Web of Infinity


After our personal hurricanes

and all the inner banter

that sounds so true

in this borrowed life,

the world is still here

and in love

with itself,


and look, it has

presented me with the

sanctified spider—

a parable in the body

of nightmares,

and sizzling with the

joy of being

where it is in 

gathering of the small

and the brief—

truly the most blessed—


and it catches more

than what can be seen

in those trickles of

liquid pearl:

the first dream catchers

of the Chippewa nation. 


Wheel of satin death,

Emblem of forever: 

take the last of my 

buzzing doubt,

whose name is mortal,

snag all that pretends

to matter,

till finally,


I remember:

Our flame was lit

by a greater flame,

our star fell from an 

endless sun,


all one boiling universe,

one collective seizure 

of birth and death 

and birth . . .

one web,


like the river with its

living glass 


into lakes and seas 

and mists with

memories of past lives

reeling in 

shattered blue . . .


Dear dancing net of

the ancients,

strands of silver knowing,


take the wild parts that

still believe in illusion,

take the particles of fear

posing as a universe,


take all of me

till I am 



Patricia Joan Jones

Author's Notes/Comments: 

My gratitude to Starward for providing the prompt of a spider web in a beautiful description of a meadow. 

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allets's picture

Like This Part

"...the world is stiill here/and in love/with itself," The ultimate summation. ~S~



patriciajj's picture

Thank you for reading and

Thank you for reading and appreciating my work. It means so much. 

roseblossoms's picture

Now starward, he said it all!

Now starward, he said it all! How you

instill your vision earthly and skyward 

so smoothly! 


As a child, a spider web always intrigued

me! I would toss swatted flies into them

and bless the spider with a meal!


A silk wonder indeed, crafted with

time and skills! Oh dear Spider

do you know, what joy you instill

like a dream catcher on my window

Your crafty web gives me chills


That is your poem here, craftsmenship

so much like the spider


Take Care




patriciajj's picture

Thank you, roseblossoms, for

Thank you, roseblossoms, for sharing your beautiful memories, talent and insights. I'm always honored when you stop by. 

Starward's picture

One summer, at my

One summer, at my grandparents' rural property, where they had a large wildflower meadow across the small creek that flowed through their parcel, a large orb weaver had put up a particularly intricate web.  At that time, I was still agile enough, being a kid, to catch grasshoppers in my bare hands, and so I would catch them and toss them into the web.  (There is a scene like this in Jerome Bixby's short, and chilling, science fiction tale, "It's A Good Life.")   The spider became very busy darting all about the web.  That was in early September.  By late Octover, spider and grasshoppers were gone, having been killed by the frosts.


patriciajj's picture

What a wonderful childhood

What a wonderful childhood memory that still shines bright within you. Thank you for sharing that and for inspiring this work. 

Starward's picture

And thank you for saying

And thank you for saying those kind words.


Starward's picture

I have never ready so moving

I have never ready so moving a spider poem in my entire reading life.  You really drew every possible meaning from this metaphor while also including your cosmic vision in the strands of this poetic web.  To my mind this would be a very difficult metaphor---that is, the spider and its web---to work with, and I would never have dared try it.  But you post this and show us that, given the high efficiency of your talent, any poem is possible, and any metaphor can be deployed successfully.  I am glad to see this poem posted, and I believe it is another one of the centerpieces of your collection.  And I am certainly grateful for the acknowledgement.  To have even the smallest part in the construction of this great verbal edifice is a tremendous privilege and honor.  Thank you for posting it, and thank you for including me.  And thanks for listening to my rambling about my grandparents' meadow.


patriciajj's picture

I did enjoy your description

I did enjoy your description of the meadow and the vibrant way you described details such as the web.


Your analysis is a thrilling, intelligent validation of everything I strove to accomplish, and it's an extreme pleasure to have such a talented poet read, I mean, really read, my work and perceive my vision fully. 


My most humble and deepest gratitude. 

Starward's picture

Thank you for the reply.  In

Thank you for the reply.  In my opinion, this poem is a textbook example of how to manage an extended metaphor, and how to deploy every detail of it to serve the poem's overall effect.  Had I read this poem forty years ago, I would have understood much more about poetry than I did at that time.  I like how this poem places itself on an x-y axis, if I could borrow a metaphor from analytic geometry.  On the horizontal axis is the web in the reality we know; on the vertical axis is the cosmic vision that gives the web, as metaphor, so much power.  I think this poem has helped me uncover another clue to your greatness, and to the processes within your poems.  You place your poems on both axes without bringing our attention to them, and that very subtle positioning allows the poem to achieve its effect.  Or, if I may continue on, and use an astronomical metaphor, your poems, like stars, function as the result of two equal forces.  For the stars, it is the gravitational pull inward and the convection of heat and force outward, and this keeps the star's body intact in equilibrium.  Your poems also contain two equal forces---your earthly vision, which is the horizontal axis; and your cosmic vision which is the vertical axis.  This is one of the keys to your poetry that I have been after since I realized, in February, how really great and refined your poetry is.  And someday, some enterprising grad student is going to see this comment and write a dissertation about this process in your poetry.  I am very sure of that!


patriciajj's picture

Likewise, your expansive and

Likewise, your expansive and celestial analysis combined with a down-to-earth, sincere appreciation makes this the most generous commentary I've ever received. I treasure it. Echoes of gratitude . . .