From Issue II (2017)  


A Bias Toward the Beneficial


Out on the porch a rotund-bellied spider
catches bugs that nibble holes in my flowers.
The sun ignites spectral beadwork on
the glistening labyrinth of its slaughterhouse.

Its artistry ennobles its cunning plan.
But now a bee, that garden benefactor
hovering on extinction, gets entrapped,
and then I want to tear the web apart.

The bee hangs limp, past self-defense.
The spider’s engulfing limbs are swift and deft.
After the meal I cannot watch, the spider
re-centers in its mandala, poising for prey.

But after a blistery rain, diaphanous trailways
of web disappear, replaced by empty space.

Mary Newell

Mary Newell lives in the Hudson Highlands. She is the author of the chapbook, TILT/ HOVER/ VEER (Codhill Press, 2019). Her poems are published in BlazeVox, River Poetry Review, Dispatches from the Poetry Wars, Spoon Entropy, Earth’s Daughters, Written River, and About Place Journal, among others. Dr. Newell received a doctorate from Fordham University in American literature and the environment. She has taught literature and writing at Fordham University, West Point, and other colleges. Her website is https://manitoulive.wixsite.com/maryn.