The Web of an Orb Weaver

Winner of the 2015 James Vaughan Poetry Contest. The author will read the winning poems at the Ko`olau Writers Workshop on April 9th, 2016.


by Joseph Stanton

In this woven orb an ending waits.
Who knew a life could have such symmetry?
A mosquito, a moth, a tiger swallowtail—
each flies a random path it thinks,
pursuing food, or sex, or sunlight

until stopped of a sudden in silk.
What could this be? we say
when a pain at heart or a cough
comes sudden and unannounced.
An ending might be a veil

beautiful beyond belief
suspended in some Eden’s garden
in front of a sunlit brightness
we want, oh so very desperately,
to reach.


Joseph Stanton’s five books of poems are Things Seen (forthcoming in March 2016), Imaginary Museum: Poems on Art, A Field Guide to the Wildlife of Suburban O`ahu, Cardinal Points: Poems on St. Louis Cardinals Baseball, and What the Kite Thinks: A Linked Poem (co-authored with Makoto Ooka, Wing Tek Lum, and Jean Toyama). His poems have appeared in Poetry, Harvard Review, New Letters, Poetry East, Cortland Review, New York Quarterly, and many other magazines.


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