Eyes now forget the crevice of their sleep,
And spider limbs feel from that bed and move
Almost as slow as light across the floor
To where an easel stands and he has drawn
Thin tracery, but not of flimsy air.
So day undrapes the room and webs of art—
The hungry zones of paintings incomplete—
But in this light he must begin anew,
Though patiently . . . assemble life again
Through charcoal sicks and tubes of green and blue.
A void of canvas waits for him, and fruit
And bottles on a chiaroscuro cloth.
He knows what praise and ridicule will come
When patterns are complete. He works; high up
On walls the spiders weave their webs the same . . .
Yet not the same. The lines that grow out from
His brush make their complexities through love,
But spiders cancel love, as threads that part
And cross reveal; compelled by nothing else
They wait small tragedies within their art.
Ronald Albert Simpson ( 1929 – 2002) was an Australian poet and poetry editor, artist and art lecturer.