Anyone who knows me is aware I adore bees. At one point, I even took a beekeeping course. Turns out beekeeping is a LOT like farming. NOT ‘hands-off.’ Yes, bees are self-sufficient. But if you’re going to be a responsible beekeeper (and why would you not be??), there’s a LOT of work involved. So I became a native bee supporter. Honeybees aren’t native to the Americas. Our native bees are my very favourite — the bumbler — and the mason, leaf-cutter, et al bees. We have 4,000 species of bees in North America alone!

Enough on bees — this was supposed to be about the 5th NaPoWriMo prompt! Which was:

In honor of Mary Oliver’s work, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that is based in the natural world: it could be about a particular plant, animal, or a particular landscape. But it should be about a slice of the natural world that you have personally experienced and optimally, one that you have experienced often. Try to incorporate specific details while also stating why you find the chosen place or plant/animal meaningful.

Here goes:

Listening to bees

The bees talk to me now
Trapped within the window screen
Their buzzes climb the scale
Humming growing shrill
I hear their fright & frustration
When they graze my hair
Flying so low their wings brush
I understand what they say
Here is the one who loves us
She will help us find our way home

How do they know, these new bees?
How can they sense love?
I have listened so often
Wanting to hear what love
Sounds like. But the bees know.
Dipping a paper towel corner
Into honey I approach
They climb dutifully to safety
Heady fragrance familiar
Gently I place them outside
Where chilly spring winds
Resist their flight
An hour later
One lies still on the pavement
Still faintly honeyed
Love is not always enough.