TJ’s Household Haiku Challenge: Cobweb

OK, it’s that time again, a roundup from a fun group who challenge themselves, with prompts from the household, to write haiku based on those objects/items, etc.

[Cute spider image to be replaced]

I had a whole lot of fun with this one: cobweb. Strictly speaking, I’m supposed to write only about the webby little things you see at times in your house, behind doors and in out-of-reach corners and so on. But spiders are indeed often found in those cobwebs, are they not? For those who prefer more tightly-knit parameters, a haiku appears at the end that I think you can relate to. But in the meantime, do accompany me for a spot of reminiscing and a few things about spiders and cobwebs.

Long ago I thought I really liked spiders, that they were so cute and fun. That was when I envisioned them in a cartoonish sort of way. Of course I knew some spiders were quite dangerous–my fondness was more an abstract thing. And I had even once written a short poem about a spider I’d watched as she crawled up my bedroom wall. She appeared to be dragging something, and that put ideas into my mind.

Later after I saw many closeup images of what spiders really looked like, with their veiny legs and buggy eyes, and ikky-looking moist bodies–they kind of remind me of a fellow sixth grader lifting the brush from the can of industrial glue in art class and crying out, “Mucus membranes!”–well, after that I was no longer so enamored. But it was fun while it lasted…I suppose. Shudder.

Below is the aforementioned poem, re-worked into haiku form. The original  will appear in my book Winter Islands, which I hope to have ready for Christmas.

Unlike her cousin

Who simply marries her prey

This one hunts him down


Desperate, he backs

Against the wall, revealing

Aptly frightened frown


And then she cooks him

Frying in the pan until

Deep and saucy brown


I see her hiking

up my wall, a long-legged

fat cousin in tow


I wouldn’t take off

my shoe and beat the wall like

others that I know


I realize she’s got

to do all that she does, so

she can live and grow

[Fancy spider image to be replaced]

But there were other spiders in my life as well. For example, one who wore quite a bit of kohl around her eyes and jingled a lot because she habitually donned ankle bracelets. These are very fashionable to have and wear, you see, and handy to be given upon marriage (they’re worth a lot). If you are a spider who eats her partner after mating, well, then you’ll make a lot of noise, I suppose.


a3ankaboota labsa khulkhaal

(she-spider with an ankle bracelet)

As she moves swiftly

the market parts when it hears

her tinkling ankles


Why not be stylish?

So many ways to sound fine

with jingle jangle

[Elegant spider image–Charlotte– to be replaced]

Another was a hitchhiker. Once I drove all the way to the East Coast, and early in the trip, somewhere about Tok, I realized I had company, who not only was clinging onto my passenger side rearview for dear life, she’d also built herself a little home…for comfort I suppose. I couldn’t bring myself to wipe her off, and that tenacious girl clung on all the way to Sault Ste. Marie–the Canadian one. She also sort of reminded me of a spider story I’d been told my whole life, one many of you may also know, about perseverance.

She weaves and falls but

never gives up. The lesson:

try and try again

Some spiders appear in my life via the distance (thankfully) of a magazine article. In one I read years ago, it talked about poisonous spiders in Australia that have been known to lurk in toilets or their underlying pipes. One unfortunate consequence of this is that on occasion, people who need to use the facilities in the middle of the night, received stinging surprises on their bottoms because they’d not been able to see the bathroom crashers in the dark. I think there was something in there about how, after word got around, people were wise to turn the lights on.

To be honest, I could be remembering incorrect details, or the most sensational ones, so if you are planning a trip to Oz, don’t let it turn you off. Several people I know who grew up in Australia have said they never in their entire lives came across any of the fabled dangerous animals of the continent.

Down under spiders:

Do they really sneak up pipes?

Bite you from behind?

[A Wolf spider, Lycosa bicolor from Coober Pedy, South Australia image to be replaced]

And then of course there are the more ordinary critters, those we encounter with a sputter and a bunch of spitting following meeting up in a close up manner.

Outside the greenhouse

post rain, and walk right into

her silky smoothness

[Pinterest running into a spider web image to be replaced]