The Spider

(translated from ‘Y Corryn’ by Iwan Llwyd)

His web was perfect
and him sitting there
where the glistening threads intersect:

he spent his life knitting sunlight
to a round plane of dew;
the end of his labour in sight

he’d listen to the drip of the rain
between the lines
silently shifting their refrain

and the grey river in full flow
irritable as it falls
companionless below

to meet the brackish floods
between the autumn cliffs
and the fringed woods;

he is impatient
weaving intricate patterns,
each answering assent

marking an exact measure
between corner and centre
stealing the stars’ treasure

of diamonds to entice
insects along steel threads
towards the silence:

then a sudden rush of air
a quiver through the intersections;
like an old man he’s there

under the yellow leaves
gathering it all in
to the pattern that he weaves.