This morning, between two branches of a tree
Beside the door, epeira once again
Has spun and signed his tapestry and trap.
I test his early-warning system and
It works, he scrambles forth in sable with
The yellow hieroglyph that no one knows
The meaning of. And I remember now
How yesterday at dusk the nighthawks came
Back as they do about this time each year,
Grey squadrons with the slashes white on wings
Cruising for bugs beneath the bellied cloud.
Now soon the monarchs will be drifting south,
And then the geese will go, and then one day
The little garden birds will not be here.
See how many leaves already have
Withered and turned; a few have fallen, too.
Change is continuous on the seamless web,
Yet moments come like this one, when you feel
Upon your heart a signal to attend
The definite announcement of an end
Where one thing ceases and another starts;
When like the spider waiting on the web
You know the intricate dependencies
Spreading in secret through the fabric vast
Of heaven and earth, sending their messages
Ciphered in chemistry to all the kinds,
The whisper down the bloodstream: it is time.
PoetryMERTONThomas Merton, a/k/a Fr. Mary Louis Merton, O.C.S.O, a member of the monastic community of the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, in Trappist, Kentucky. The initials O.C.S.O stand for "Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance," a monastic order of Roman Catholic men and women commonly known as "Trappists." Merton died in Bangkok, December 10, 1968, while attending an international conference on East-West MonasticDialogue.ALBRECHT VAN HALLERAlbrecht van Haller, Swiss physiologist, 1708-1777. Credited with writing the first standard physiology textbook.EPEIRAEpeira, [Greek: epi, "upon," and eiros, "wool"] a genus of spiders typical of the family Epiridæ. Epeira diadema is the typical garden spider.Howard Nemerov was born on February 29th, 1920 in New York. He died of cancer at his home in University City, Missouri on July 5th 1991.