The Punch Clock’s Spider

Woven round the turnstile
A victim-spun roulette
The loom of slaver’s guile

To harvest well in style
The slaver spreads his net
Woven round the turnstile

Twinkling an eight-eyed smile
On headlong preys it’s set
The loom of slaver’s guile

What unlaboured stockpile
Of victims’ blood and sweat
Woven round the turnstile

Drools of venomous bile
On deadly fangs they whet
The loom of slaver’s guile

The exit of the file
The entrance to regret
Woven round the turnstile
The loom of slaver’s guile


Colin Lee


This eight-legged weaver in my picture has been hanging round the turnstile for a couple of weeks now. And when nature’s workings and ours conspicuously rock and roll, a poet shouldn’t be surprised to find himself/herself in the muses’ spidery tangles.

36 thoughts on “The Punch Clock’s Spider

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  1. Your villanelle is so effortless that I was half way through reading before I realized the form. The tone of this is hypnotic and slightly scary: ‘Twinkling an eight-eyed smile’ gives me the chills. The picture is a nice add-on.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Jilly. I’m glad to hear the hypnotic, rotational feel I intended has got through. I snapped a couple of shots there while the security guard was quite worried if I would use the photo to complain about his management of the factory’s entrance. lol

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jolly kind of you to say so, sir. I’ll check out your masterpieces once I’ve got a chance: I spend my work weeks behind the world’s greatest firewall — the pitiful reason I’m forbidden to frequent you lot in Facebook and Blogspot. 😦


    1. Thank you, Victoria. You must have a rather harsh standard for your craft. Anyway, I took Jane’s advice and picked the rhymes before started — elbow room enough to wriggle through 5 tercets and a quatrain. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I’m so sorry, Victoria. I accidentally hovered over the wrong part of the touchpad and your previous comment was instantly … *gasp* … trashed?! I’m so sorry!

      Your response was truly appreciated, as it made me ponder on the difference of approaches between classical and modern poetry: the former sets up the rigid framework first and lets creativity develop within; the latter plays by ear and borrow traditional devices to enhance structures where it sees fit. Each way has its own merits, I suppose.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re one meticulous reader, sir. Well, on the biological level, spiders never devour their prey. Instead, they incapacitate their victims with venom or silk, inject digestive enzymes into their bodies and suck out the liquefied flesh like we do with coconut juice. On the metaphorical level, the poet (ahem) queuing for the sweatshop feels like a fly tangled up in the cobweb of the nine-to-five mechanics, waiting for his youth to be liquidated and his ambition zombified.

      Liked by 1 person

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