Here is the dream where dust, gathered and blowing over the field,
turns suddenly against the wind and moves with the shape
of a body. Here the shape of a body forms and reforms as it crosses
the sky, and then you hear it, the hum of the swarm,
the resurrection of the will heard first by the forest saints who fashioned
skep-baskets of mud, dung, and straw to draw, hold,
and harvest it. The black globes of the bee’s eyes regard you
as the earth does, which is barely at all, an unflowering stalk
in the field. In April, you are no Oregon Grape, Willow or Cottonwood.
In May, no Poison Oak, Buckbrush, or Vine Maple. Here are the stacked
hives in the glade, row and white row of return.
Augustine declared evil an absence of good. But an angel guards the gate
back to the garden. Good is an absence, and here below
her gaze, life rises from the dust, root conspiring with raindrop, flower
with stamen, these tiny messengers passing secrets
between them. Soon now, autumn will arrive, the emergency be upon us.
Soon the combs will overflow with honey. Soon we pagan priests
must put on our accruements and enter the glade, fill it with the smoke
of our censers, bewilder the bees and blind the eyes of the angel.
Copyright © Aaron Baker
Used with the permission of the author
on behalf of Poetry Northwest.