Photography © Edward S. Gault


Venomous Spider

Viagra is synthetic. That is why

Evangelists for nature recommend

Not taking it, and eating oyster pie

Or cocoa, or a saffron-ginseng blend.

Miraculous fulfilment may ensue

Or not: the science isn’t there to prop

Up claims—but science does know spiders who

Serve venom that prevents a rodent’s flop …

So if you buy bananas and get bit,

Provided you survive the spider’s bite,

It augurs well, what nature put in it

Delivers oomph—you learn, to your delight,

Exotic-spider deadly venom will

Rejuvenate the victims it can’t kill!


Mike Mesterton-Gibbons is a Professor Emeritus of Mathematics at Florida State University who has returned to live in his native England. His acrostic sonnets have appeared in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Better Than Starbucks, The Creativity Webzine, Current Conservation, the Ekphrastic Review, Grand Little Things, Light, Lighten Up Online, MONO., the New Verse News, Oddball Magazine, Rat’s Ass Review, the Satirist, the Washington Post and WestWard Quarterly. The poem was prompted by the Independent story, “Supermarket evacuated after spider whose bite can cause painful erections or death spotted.”

Edward S. Gault is a poet and fine arts photographer living in Brighton, Massachusetts. His work has appeared in Oddball Magazine, Spectrum, Wilderness House Literary Review, Interlude, Currents, and Encore.