Season of the Swarm

Behind the white bucket on which I sit,

a beehive is tuning up

a whole orchestra of violins.

The hum gets louder.

The whirling vortex of golden bodies spins faster.

The air is filled with living pollen grains


never colliding.

Sounds like danger.

Smells like honey.

The intensity of the sound diminishes

as the furry mound draped round the queen grows larger

and the space lessens between each bee in flight.

The swarm settles.

My heart slows.

I breathe the sweetness of the musk rose clusters on the arbor.

The shimmering three-fold petals of purple German iris

cloak beards that mimic bigger bees,

like upright fingers lightly clasped above the gray blades.

The holy cover crop comes to fruition.

Legumes and grains sown in late fall.

Fava pods poke proudly horizontal,

fat flat beans nestle in their secret inner fur,

It’s long past the season when their fragrance drifted through mild spring evenings.

I’ve heard they wouldn’t let the servant girls walk through the fields

when favas bloomed,

their scent too full of yearning

for a prudent return to the bed chamber..

Barley is stubby.

The sharp awns are short.

Red and purple two-tone blossoms of the vetch

purse their lips.

The green oat stems tower

six feet and taller

like slender fishing poles with striped tassels dangling.

Their roots enriched the soil all winter

with threadlike fiber and magical underground nitrogen.

These plantings now give way to summer corn and squashes

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