One Poem by Elizabeth Jacobson

One Poem by Elizabeth Jacobson

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Landscape with Ordinary Things

A spider has strung a wide net

across two rocks jutting up from the rivulet—

a mini rickety footbridge hung low. 

The spider hides in a dry corner

and when a water bug becomes trapped,

the spider doesn’t wait for it to stop twisting,

but crawls right to it, spinning and wrapping,

nibbling the long legs still trying to walk on water. 

Last night, behind the caves of burning wood

in the beehive-shaped fireplace, I could see

into the cracked mud, past the honeycomb lath

of chicken wire—to the adobe bricks

of its construction. How quickly fire turns

one thing into another—nothing’s ever destroyed—

ashes to soil to wood and back to flame.

Wind blows the threadgrass, stirs the red-winged

blackbird to rise and land on a cattail. The curve

of the bird’s dark claws sink into the domed tip

as if it were a pincushion, and when the blackbird

jumps back into flight, a clutch of seeds releases

into the air, each one thrusting outward, ignited.




Elizabeth JacobsonElizabeth Jacobson’s second book, Not into the Blossoms and Not into the Airwinner of the 2017 New Measure Poetry Prize, selected by Marianne Boruch, is just out from Free Verse Editions/Parlor Press. She is the founding director of the WingSpan Poetry Project, a nonprofit which conducts poetry classes in shelter facilities. Beginning in June, she will be teaching a weekly community poetry class in conjunction with the Railyard Art Project in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Header photo by InspiredImages, courtesy Pixabay. is the world’s first online journal of place, publishing a rich mix of literature, art, commentary, and design since 1998.