Thursday, October 8, 2015

Poetry Friday-Autumn Visitors

Laura Purdie Salas hosts this mid-October Poetry Friday. Visit to enjoy what's shared today at Writing The World for Kids. Laura's been re-decorating her blog, and it looks great.





       According to an article from How Stuff WorksSpiders are beneficial inhabitants of any garden, ecosystem, or home because of their important contributions to biological control of pest insects. Spiders are considered to be the most important terrestrial predators, eating tons of pest insects or other small arthropods every year. Spiders are generalist predators that are willing to eat almost any insect they can catch. They are abundant and found in most habitats. They only need to be left alone!

       During October especially, almost everything I see blares scary spiders. There are enormous ones for decorating the house for Halloween, bags of plastic spiders to freeze in ice cubes and put in drinks, or smaller, furry spiders to "wear" on one's shoulder. Halloween poetry is filled with spider references like "creepy and crawly", "when you fall, I will run for my life,"Spiders crawling up your spine." When I see the scary stereotypes, I understand why kids grow up to be adults who are still afraid of spiders. If only they would stay with E.B. White's Charlotte's Web

       Here's a different kind of poem for autumn, inspired from personal experience(s). I am caught between the needs of the spiders' and my own.


Sometimes Autumn Moves Quietly

Without crunch of leaves,
nor flash of color,
or honk of geese,
spiders sidle in-
somehow.
These Charlottes settle in warm corners,
unwelcome callers
that scurry up my walls.
I catch them,
give gentle goodbyes,
hoping they will find
other winter digs,
just not mine.

Linda Baie © All Rights Reserved

46 comments:

  1. I'm smiling, sharing aversion to house-invading Charlottes; for me, too, they are "unwelcome callers" (even if I should appreciate more the service they do). I admire your giving gentle goodbyes; I'm afraid (and ashamed to admit) that my panic-recoiling reactions end less favorably for the spiders. God bless you!

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    1. Thank you, I think I learned to be kinder to spiders from a grandfather, but really do want them "outside".

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  2. Beautiful. I love that you call them Charlottes, and that you give them gentle goodbyes. I try to do the same - though I have to suppress some nerves to do it.

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    1. Thanks, Sally. It's the smaller ones that are such a challenge. I have to be fast!

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  3. I like the title, Linda, and the sweet sentiment with those gentle goodbyes. I lost whatever affection I had for spiders earlier this year when my husband got very sick from a spider bite, but I know I can't blame them all!

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    1. Oh, I remember, Tabatha. I understand. The poem came to me after the cool nights brought in a flurry of them, & I thought it was time to write of a new thing for this season. Thanks!

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  4. Linda, I like your poem--the juxtaposition of autumn noise and the quiet of spiders. Because of Charlotte, I, too, give them gentle goodbyes.

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    1. Thanks, Jane, glad to hear of your gentle goodbyes, too.

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  5. Linda, yes, we study about spiders in the elementary schools and find the many interesting facts like you have shown but children do enjoy the scary side to spiders. Spiders like to visit my decorations outside and create many lines from them. I am more apt to shoot them away rather than study them. (sidle in, unwelcome callers). I enjoyed this piece. Would you like to include this one in Aumtumn's Palette Gallery with a photo or send in others?

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    1. Thanks for your ideas, too, Carol. Are you ready for the autumn offerings? I'll be happy to create the poem with the photo.

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  6. Hehe--this is lovely--especially "spiders sidle." I recently read I'M TRYING TO LOVE SPIDERS (or something like that). I have not succeeded. You treat yours much more gently than I do!

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    1. I've read that book, Laura, what fun, but I know that some will never find love for spiders, my daughter too. Thanks!

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  7. Love this! Hurray for spiders and their service to nature's balance.

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    1. Thank you! They are important, however creepy & crawly! Hope you're on your way!

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  8. Wonderful poem -- but now I feel guilty about all the spiders I've killed. Yes, I love Charlotte, but here in the woods we get some big furry ones who "are" scary, and I wouldn't dare to try and catch them. Love the "sidle in" and "gentle goodbyes" in your poem. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jama, I catch them in a tissue, then take them out. I hope you don't think I pick them up by hand! Not sure I would be fast enough anyway.

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  9. Linda, Loved that you made the spiders literary by naming them Charlottes.

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    1. Thanks Bernadette. Charlotte is indeed a good role model, right?

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  10. Oh those Charlottes sidling in... one of my fave books as a youngster was Be Nice to Spiders, about a spider at a zoo! Maybe that's why I have a high tolerance for spiders.... my fear is of roaches, which I cannot stand (and remember from when I was a child in Saudi Arabia, how they would cover the floor at night and I would be too scared to get out of bed to go to the bathroom! Yikes!!). Thank you for this unexpected autumn poem. xo

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    1. I remember my mother being scared of the lizards that came in when she lived in South Carolina, Irene. Visiting in Costa Rica, we were constantly on the lookout for scorpions. Guess we all have our scary critters, just not spiders for you or me. Love hearing about this book you liked. Thanks!

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  11. Wonderful poem, Linda. I do love to watch spiders when they're outside, so I'm like you—
    "hoping they will find
    other winter digs,
    just not mine."

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    1. The weaving-outside-is fascinating, I agree Penny. Thanks.

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  12. I love the gentleness with which you send the Charlotte's off to other homes...so Linda like!

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    1. Aw, thank you. It is rather a welcome, but don't stay, isn't it? And I do hope they survive. Thanks, Tara.

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  13. Look how many of us recognized this experience! I'm mystified by how they "sidle in-somehow." I'm always trying to capture them and toss them outside. I'm with you--I won't kill them, but I don't want them in my house, either!

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    1. I wonder how they enter, too! Do they hitch a ride on clothing or the grocery bags? Thanks, JoAnn!

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  14. "Charlottes"! :0)
    I have an "appreciates spiders" sensibility (mostly!) and am in awe of their webs. Prefer them outside, and like you, try to gently get them there if they wander in. Do you know Eileen Spinelli's picture book, Sophie's Masterpiece? One of my favorites.

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    1. No, I am not familiar with this book, Robyn. Thank you. Happy to hear that you try to be gentle too. I admit that it isn't easy.

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  15. I don't much care for spiders, but I'm the person least creeped out by them at work, so I've become the in-house spider catcher. I cover the creature with a small paper cup, slip a 3 x 5 card under the cup and carefully carry the whole thing outside where I release the little guy onto one of the gazillion bushes surrounding the library.

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    1. A paper cup is a great idea. And nice that you're willing to take on the job for your colleagues! Those spiders must appreciate the shrubs. Thanks, Diane.

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  16. Linda,
    I'm smiling over this:
    "Without crunch of leaves,
    nor flash of color,
    or honk of geese."

    What a great way to describe the way we find spiders suddenly there. I'm not a spider fan and fall seems to bring some of the biggest, ugliest spiders you can image. What a perfect subject for poetry. My husband constantly reminds me how important they are, but I just can't bring myself to change my mind about them.

    Thank you for sharing your words - rhythmically arranged.

    Cathy

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    1. You're welcome, Cathy, & thank you for the comment. The reason for the poem is because they do appear, big & little, more than I usually see in the spring & summer.

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    2. I admire you gentle goodbyes, Linda. The spider that gives me the shivers is the hairy huntsman spider - and we breed them HUGE where I live. (View here, if you're brave; https://katswhiskers.wordpress.com/2010/10/30/creeped-out) It knocks years off my life every time I encounter one - inside or out.

      Your poem is lovely. I love the silence of your 'spiders sidle in- somehow'. (Though it is a little sinister, too.)

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    3. Well, there are spiders, and then there are SPIDERS, like your hairy huntsman. I might have to re-think what to do if one of those 'sidled in', Kat. You have a point! Thanks.

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  17. Gentle goodbyes to your Charlottes, I love the reference to one of my favorite books. I try to tell my students that spiders are good. We should let them be, but sometimes the only thing to do is smash it to restore order to the classroom.

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    1. It was unusual to find a spider in the classroom. Maybe we filled the room too much for them. What disrupted sometimes were wasps, so I or some brave student caught them & threw them out, too. Thanks Margaret, you do what you have to do!

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  18. "spiders sidle in--
    somehow.
    These Charlottes settle in warm corners"....love!

    I too am always amazed at how many creature manage to find their way into our safe and rain-tight house, and I agree that they deserve a better reputation. But then I'm not creeped out by spiders. I would feel very different if we were talking about SNAKES. : )

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    1. I've never had a snake, but know that people do. I agree, would not like a snake! I have had several birds sneak in. What a quest to catch & release! Thanks, Heidi.

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  19. The spiders and I have an agreement - as long as I don't see them, they are welcome to hunt in my house :O)

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    1. Another view! Yes, I don't spray ever either, if that's what the step would be to be sure they're gone. Funny, Katie. What you don't know won't hurt you, I guess.

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  20. Linda, This poem is woven with silken words "sidle" "these Charlottes" And so wonderful that you catch the interlopers & usher them elsewhere. We do that too,
    although to be honest, if in surprise, I find on me my uncontrollable immediate action is to flick it far. Not nice, but there it is.
    Appreciations for this wonderful poem.

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    1. Thank you, Jan. We all seem to react a little differently, I know.

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  21. We, too, capture spiders and give them a gentle release back out into the world so that they can either survive, or re-join the food chain.

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    1. Glad to hear that you do this, Mary Lee.

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  22. A lovely, gentle poem, Linda. I'm not much of a spider killer myself, but I confess it's more out of cowardice than respect. Less cowardly than I used to be, though, now that I've lived through a couple close encounters with Huntsman spiders in Sydney. Go ahead and google. I dare ya.

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    1. Thank you, Michelle. Kat, above, also mentioned this Huntsman spider, in Australia. I did look, & I agree that I might be a little leery of gently approaching this one.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!