All at a Moment

Fallen randomly from their mothers' backs,

young spiders barely master the eight directions

that all at a moment lead their walking forward,

when rain washes out their serious futures.

Some float, hook with a limp leg a blade of grass,

or collect in a plump mass of themselves

at the garden's lowest spot. Unconcerned,

they easily find a place that in life

they would have died to keep: by chance,

each fails the image of its breed, tireless,

spinner of every web as though the last

and worthy of each pain of craft it cost;

yet unconscious of the constant need to start


This lesson will be wasted

on the human mind, for every failure lessens

the time to make things right, the space

conducive to a suitable peace. We war

against the eight directions of our wills

and dwell on the too quick passage

of our serious pasts.

Originally published in The Seattle Times Magazine

Keith Moul has written poems and taken photos for more than 50 years, his work appearing in magazines widely. His chapbook, The Journal, was recently accepted by Duck Lake Chaps for issuance in early 2020. This is his ninth chap or book published.