by Catherine McGuire
At first, the air, alive –
you think chaff… gnats.
But the single note from a thousand throats
strums the landscape. The bees have risen,
wildly, as if escaping fire.
Directionless, a maelstrom of wings
slowly drifts across the yard.
If you don’t panic, you see the cloud darken,
contract, forming around
a twisted laurel branch:
a sculpture carving itself; an idea coalescing.
The swarm becomes a ball, a black seed
hanging silent on the tree.
Tomorrow they will leave;
already the scouts are searching.
This old queen has gathered her followers,
split from the hive and its new queen,
making the fraught commitment
to an unknown home.
By some instinctive wisdom, they know
their destination cannot be found
until they have started the journey.
Catherine McGuire is a writer and artist with a deep concern for our planet’s future. She has a poet’s collection of careers, including tech writer, mental health therapist and too many clerical jobs. At Holy Trinity grammar school, she’d get in trouble for writing poems and passing them to classmates. She has five decades of published poetry, four poetry chapbooks : Palimpsests (Uttered Chaos); Glimpses of A Garden; Joy Into Stillness; Poetry and Chickens (self-published); a full-length poetry book, Elegy for the 21st Century (FutureCycle Press); a SF novel, Lifeline and book of short stories, The Dream Hunt and Other Tales (Founders House Publishing). She shares her half-acre in Sweet Home, Oregon with cats, chickens, a garden/orchard and bees. Find her at www.cathymcguire.com.