Spider, Cabbage Moth, and Me

Orange and brown Spider, the size of my thumbnail,

stands ready on her delicate strong web,

ruling nothing else

but her will to thrive.

White Cabbage Moth, the breadth of my kneecap,

flutters down in front of me,

seeming unable to keep a steady true course,

yet deftly surveilling me

and dodging Spider’s web.

Both so capable of,

maybe satisfied with,

weathering each second

with only what nature and evolution

have granted them.

I sit with them

on a folding wooden chair,

grateful and in awe

of their company,

but only at a distance

I think I can control.

I could wave Moth away.

I could collapse Spider’s web

with a swing of my arm.

Fear could move me

to spray them with insecticide.

My superior technology could extinguish them,

as if I had the right,

as if I was entitled

to a bigger share of creation.

Isn’t that what my kind

assumes as our privilege

just because we can?

And look what we’ve created with it –

a juggernaut of ruin.

Maybe it’s not too late

to study the humility, restraint, and wisdom

of other species.

About Michaela McCormick

Michaela McCormick is a white-bodied transgender activist currently working with Extinction Rebellion, and a Buddhist student/teacher drawing from many wisdom traditions. Her political/liberatory work includes teaching and organizing for the transformation of white supremacist, colonialist, patriarchal, earth-spoiling capitalism into just, compassionate, regenerative systems and relationships. For 25 years she worked as a teacher, trainer, and practitioner of conflict resolution and public dialogue. She has written two memoirs and now writes poetry and essays on social and spiritual themes.


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