The spider as an artist…


The Spider as an Artist
Has never been employed —
Though his surpassing Merit
Is freely certified

By every Broom and Bridget
Throughout a Christian Land —
Neglected Son of Genius
I take thee by the Hand —

Emily Dickinson

Recently I came across this Emily Dickinson one. I have rather been inactive on my blog site for quite sometime and this gem from Emily led me to two other poems of hers on the less celebrated artist called Spider. Emily’s spider has nothing in comparison with the cunning, scheming and wily spider who asks the fly “Will you walk into my parlour? ( Mary Howitt). The Spider in Emily’s poems is a gifted artist. Incredibly creative, self employed, tirelessly weaving unconcerned about any recognition! She calls the spider “neglected son of genius”, whose art work is soon to be swept away by diligent housewives’ brooms. We can consider this as a poem of exaltation.

In another poem of hers, the Spider spins his yarn of pearl from nought to nought with amazing dexterity! As sincere as Penelope, he weaves his gossamer. The man made curtains are replaced by his delicate work of art. He has some divine aura here. Alas! how transient his hard work is… it has to meet its end at the tip of a broom!

The Spider holds a Silver Ball
In unperceived Hands —
And dancing softly to Himself
His Yarn of Pearl — unwinds —

He plies from Nought to Nought —
In unsubstantial Trade —
Supplants our Tapestries with His —
In half the period —

An Hour to rear supreme
His Continents of Light —
Then dangle from the Housewife’s Broom —
His Boundaries — forgot —

But in “A spider sewed at night..” the determined spider works the entire night not concerned about the end product. The spider believes in a philosophy similar to the Bhagavad Gita quote “Let the focus be not on the fruits of action, but on the action itself”. Whether it is going to be ruff for a pretty damsel or a shroud of a gnome his deft hands would focus on the perfection and would strategically decide later what the outcome is to be. His duty is to spin and weave; he has great confidence in himself and the immortality of his work.


A Spider sewed at Night
Without a Light
Upon an Arc of White.

If Ruff it was of Dame
Or Shroud of Gnome
Himself himself inform.

Of Immortality
His Strategy
Was Physiognomy.

Emily made the ‘neglected son of genius’ a hero in her poems, a divine artist par excellence!

Rejoice, for your soul is alive!


It’s all about balance!


”If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand,rejoice, for your soul is alive” ~ Eleonora Duse

Bee still… Look around, delight in the beauty that surrounds you. You learn a lot from the small things around you, from their small world.

A Cool Blue Dandy!

I met this dandy who challenged the azure skies and the turquoise blue waters in Ho Tram (a small beach town near Saigon). The pristine beach with its blue waters, lined with casuarina trees is a nature lover’s sanctuary. Even though I missed watching the rising Pink moon of April, I was in for a surprise the next morning. Nature never disappoints you! I have never thought that shades of vibrant blues and reptiles go together. I searched for the name of this lizard (or chameleon?) and chanced upon a National Geographic article on this blue headed lizard species that was identified by scientists in 2013, in Vietnam. It is called Calotes bachae. During mating season, to attract females, the males turn into striking blue hues. The head is vibrant cerulean and turquoise mix of blue with a bright yellow whisker like patch on both sides. This lizard seems to be unperturbed by human presence. He happily posed for me with many happy nods of appreciation. It is beyond doubt he sensed that I’m an Indian and he could connect well with copious nods.

”Who said I camouflage? I flaunt my colours!”

Calotes bachae, the blue headed lizard seen in Vietnam.

This week’s wordpress photo challenge is to share a photo of something unlikely, an object or a person in an unlikely place or a serendipitous accident. I have been looking around for my feathered friends in that quaint beachside resort. A fairytale style forest dragon appeared out of the blue! He was basking in the morning sun on a casuarina trunk. A least expected experience; an unlikely as well as a serendipitous one! I am not a fan of reptiles, but this flamboyant guy won my heart!

The dawn is a wild, fair woman…

Watching the sun slowly rising over the small hills in front of home is one of the most delightful moments of my day! To pair with my click, I have these beautiful lines by Robert Loveman.

“The dawn is a wild fair woman
With sunrise in her hands

Look where she stands with pleading hair
To lure me there”

Robert Loveman

Another glorious morning in Anakkara, Kerala

My crown is called content…

“My crown is in my heart, not on my head …

My crown is called content, a crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.”

She sells flowers at a local market in Saigon… Her hearty, contented smile is as bright as the flowers she sells!

When I was flipping through my photos for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge SMILE, I decided to choose this flower seller. Since it was a hurried click on my mobile phone, the clarity is poor. The quote that comes to my mind when I look at her is one from from Henry VI; though there is hardly any comparison with the two circumstances.

“My crown is in my heart, not on my head;

Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,

Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:

A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.”

~William Shakesperare~


Second Keeper

Ay, but thou talk’st as if thou wert a king.


Why, so I am, in mind; and that’s enough.

Second Keeper

But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?


My crown is in my heart, not on my head;

Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,

Nor to be seen: my crown is called content:

A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.]

I will show you the sunset, if you sit by me…

This week’s wordpress photo challenge is Rise/Set  

“I will show you the sunset if you will sit by me, but I can not bring it there, for so much gold is heavy”

~Emily Dickinson

Here are a few of my favourite sunset clicks

Sun, setting in all its splendour over (Wat) Svay Pope pagoda in Phnom Penh, Cambodia (a click from a running vehicle).


Sunset at Uluwatu Temple, Bali



Saigon sunsets

The tidy Breezes, with their Brooms-sweep vale-and hill-and tree…

A Lady red—amid the Hill
Her annual secret keeps!
A Lady white, within the Field
In placid Lily sleeps!

The tidy Breezes, with their Brooms—
Sweep vale—and hill—and tree!
Prithee, My pretty Housewives!
Who may expected be?

The Neighbors do not yet suspect!
The Woods exchange a smile!
Orchard, and Buttercup, and Bird—
In such a little while!

And yet, how still the Landscape stands!
How nonchalant the Hedge!
As if the “Resurrection”
Were nothing very strange!

Emily Dickinson

Here’s a delightful one from Emily Dickinson. A big preparation for the annual visit of Spring is going on. Even though the housewives can not hold their excitement, they are cautious not to make much ado. Secretly and hurriedly they prepare their homes and themselves for the yearly visit. In case he makes a quiet entry, the first step of Spring shouldn’t go unnoticed just because the houses are in a mess. Even the neighbours do not suspect that the homes are getting ready to welcome someone. But the Woods somehow have heard the news and they exchange smiles. Vale and Hills are swept and mopped clean. Soon birds will come, buttercups will bloom, orchards will rejoice. The Landscape and the Hedge, are unaffected by the heightened fuss. They are not too much concerned about these preparatory measures as they know that this is an annual affair. ‘Resurrection’ takes place religiously every year! There is nothing strange or new about it.

A Lady red-amid the Hill

A Lady White- within the Field

NB : I interpret Emily the way I understand her.