Often, for me, it’s a single image that really makes a poem, and in this poem by Jeff Worley, from his chapbook “Lucky Talk,” published by Broadstone Books, it’s “a man conducting an orchestra/of bees.” How often I’ve looked exactly like that, having blundered into a spider web! Worley is the current poet laureate of Kentucky.
Walking Through A Spider Web
I believed only air
stretched between the dogwood
and the barberry: another
thoughtless human assumption
sidetracking the best story
this furrow spider knew to spin.
And, trying to get the sticky
filament off my face, I must look,
to the neighbors, like someone
being attacked by his own nervous
system, a man conducting an orchestra
of bees. Or maybe it’s only the dance
of human history I’m reenacting:
caught in his own careless wreckage,
a man trying to extricate himself,
afraid to open his eyes.