Joy

Joy
Julie Cadwallader Staub

Who could need more proof than honey—

How the bees with such skill and purpose
enter flower after flower
sing their way home
to create and cap the new honey
just to get through the flowerless winter.

And how the bear with intention and cunning
raids the hive
shovels pawful after pawful into his happy mouth
bats away indignant bees
stumbles off in a stupor of satiation and stickiness.

And how we humans can’t resist its viscosity
its taste of clover and wind
its metaphorical power:
don’t we yearn for a land of milk and honey?
don’t we call our loved ones “honey?”

all because bees just do, over and over again, what they were made to do.

Oh, who could need more proof than honey
to know that our world
was meant to be

and

was meant to be
sweet?

A Hand

A Hand
Jane Hirshfield

A hand is not four fingers and a thumb. Nor is it palm and knuckles, not ligaments or the fat’s yellow pillow, not tendons, star of the wristbone, meander of veins. A hand is not the thick thatch of its lines with their infinite dramas, nor what it has written, not on the page, not on the ecstatic body. Nor is the hand its meadows of holding, of shaping— not sponge of rising yeast-bread, not rotor pin’s smoothness, not ink. The maple’s green hands do not cup the proliferant rain. What empties itself falls into the place that is open. A hand turned upward holds only a single, transparent question. Unanswerable, humming like bees, it rises, swarms, departs.

The Fabric of Life

The Fabric of Life
by Kay Ryan

It is very stretchy.
We know that, even if
many details remain
sketchy. It is complexly
woven. That much too
has pretty well been
proven. We are loath
to continue our lessons
which consist of slaps
as sharp and dispersed
as bee stings from
a smashed nest
when any strand snaps—

hurts working far past
the locus of rupture,
attacking threads
far beyond anything
we would have said
connects.

Bee! I’m expecting you!

Bee! I’m expecting you!
Emily Dickinson

1035

Bee! I’m expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due—

The Frogs got Home last Week—
Are settled, and at work—
Birds, mostly back—
The Clover warm and thick—

You’ll get my Letter by
The seventeenth; Reply
Or better, be with me—
Yours, Fly.

The murmur of a bee

The Murmur of a Bee
Emily Dickinson

155

The Murmur of a Bee
A Witchcraft—yieldeth me—
If any ask me why—
’Twere easier to die—
Than tell—

The Red upon the Hill
Taketh away my will—
If anybody sneer—
Take care—for God is here—
That’s all.

The Breaking of the Day
Addeth to my Degree—
If any ask me how—
Artist—who drew me so—
Must tell!

Because the Bee may blameless hum

869
Emily Dickinson

Because the Bee may blameless hum
For Thee a Bee do I become
List even unto Me.

Because the Flowers unafraid
May lift a look on thine, a Maid
Alway a Flower would be.

Nor Robins, Robins need not hide
When Thou upon their Crypts intrude
So Wings bestow on Me
Or Petals, or a Dower of Buzz
That Bee to ride, or Flower of Furze
I that way worship Thee.