Leslie Schultz

The Spyder

Spyder! Spyder! weaving white
Webs to catch the pale moonlight,
And mimic starry-spangled skies
In all their winter symmetries,

Did you distinctly choose this chair
As anchor for your looming care?
Despite my intermittent fire
To clear each rung, you must desire

No one disturb your sticky art,
Born in the furnace of your heart,
And teased to form by steady beat
Of eight incessant dancing feet.

I see you make a ghostly chain
That snares your prey and my small brain.
I see in you desire to grasp
What animates the air; to clasp

Most tightly to you floating fears,
And avid yearnings, acrid tears.
You cast your web to heaven wide—
Then wait. Then simply stand aside.

Spyder! Spyder! weaving white
Webs to catch the pale moonlight,
Do you catch a glimpse of me
Within your cosmic symmetry?

A Song of Penelope

The reddest apples arc from green to rust.
A young boy swings under the flowering boughs,
While she pours rain-hued water on grey dust.

Golden-groved Hesperia in the west
Is calling back those Apollonian cows.
The reddest apples go from green to rust.

Rekindled cattle act as they now must,
Crop poppy fields beside lush olive groves.
She pours out rain-hued waters on grey dust.

The boy becomes a man, succumbs to lust,
Ready to pluck and take and forswear vows.
The reddest apples arc from bud to rust.

She weaves still her shroud of strongest trust,
Believes in his heart, knows she is thrice-blessed.
She keeps pouring rainbows on thirsty dust.

She sings, and Death unclenches his grim fist.
Fertility subverts all human laws.
The reddest apples arc from green to rust,
While she pours rain-hued waters on grey dust.


Leslie Schultz (Northfield, MN) is the author of Still Life with Poppies: Elegies and Cloud Song (Kelsay Books, 2016, 2018). She has published poetry, fiction, and essays in a variety of journals and anthologies, including Able Muse, Blue Unicorn, Mezzo Cammin; Light, Swamp Lily; Poetic Strokes Anthology; The Pacific Review; The Northern Review; The Madison Review, The Mid-American Poetry Review; The Midwest Quarterly; The Orchards, Stone Country; Sun Dog; The Wayfarer, Third Wednesday, and in a chapbook, Living Room (Midwestern Writers' Publishing House). She has twice had winning poems in the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest. Schultz posts poems, essays, reviews, interviews, and photographs at www.winonamedia.net


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The most recent addition to The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline is Louise Erdrich by Angela Alaimo O'Donnell.

Charlotte Innes was the recipient of the 2018 Mezzo Cammin Scholarship to the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Megan Marlatt:Looking like large puppet heads, it was "anima", the root of "animation", that led me to the making of the big heads, (or "capgrossos" as they are called in Catalonia where I learned the craft.) Anima is the soul or what breathes life into a being and to animate an inanimate object, an artist must insert a little soul into it. However to bring attention to what is invisible, (the soul), I chose to mold its opposite in solid form: the persona, the ego, the big head, the mask. Nearly every culture across the globe has masks. They allow performers to climb into the skin of another being and witness the other's world from behind their eyes. While doing so, the mask erases all clues of the performer's age, gender, species or race. In this regard, I find them to be the most transformative and empathic of all human artifacts.

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