Caroline O’Brien
The Wilted Spider

Blackness spirals toward the empty ticking of a clock,
Trickling chimes down an unending path
As they discordantly creep through the endless chatter,
Shaped by a spider
Weaving a barricade of fragile shadows soundly in the mind
To protect against sleep.

A restless whirlpool coils bouquets of frozen leaves into dreamless sleep
Within the abyss of periwinkle rhythms, writhing from dusty clocks
To alter the quaking path
Of consciousness, summoned by the branching spider.
His extended legs twist through caverns of the mind,
While blending a surplus of empty thought into interlocking chatter.

Inverted rhythms tangle into the crescendo of nonsensical chatter,
Winding tight spindles of lace about the lyrical spider
As he whistles melodious thoughts down into the rancid, tunneled paths,
Looping, knotting, and filling the mind
To break the mold of sleep
Produced by the gentle rocking of a clock.

A princess bats her eyes, drowned within the warped clock,
As reality converges with a dream, producing the effect of sleep.
Images discharge from their place on the path,
No longer caged by the draping spider
And they continue their chatter
As they parade in unison, out from the mildewed caverns of the mind.

An acrylic man plastered on a mural turns his head to speak. Talking to the mind,
He ridicules and refuses to cease his chatter.
His distant voice echoes in through the ominous paths
Which encompass the restless spider,
As he cuts away the threads woven tightly into his blisters; the beatings from the clock
He received when combating sleep.

Overcome by pain, the spider recedes into the shadows of sleep,
Crying heavily down the churning, circular paths
Of the sweltering mind.
Reality unlocks the dreams, retracting the swirling images that finally freeze their chatter.
Waltzing to the time kept by the clock,
The images channel into the shadows, solemnly surrounding the fatally wounded spider.

The rhythmic drumming of the clock fills the hollow paths of despair.
Silent tears shade the chatter as the wilted spider exhales, releasing the mind into sleep.