Monday, May 17, 2010

Birthday Song

author's note:

Yet another “bee” poem (see last two entries)…

This time, the bee is outside me, not within.

But perhaps this poem is not so far removed from those other two: these outside bees can sometimes drive me to listen to the bee within.


I strum as I stroll--
trying to pluck a song
I think I want to hear again
if my fingers could only find
the right notes.

I want to express
the richness of a memory,
I want to re-create
a birthday song.

Perhaps I struggle
because to return
is to return
to how that bee sting felt--the shock
throbbing, the blood pulsing--

lightning is new life.

But for this song
to be a true birthday song
I must also recall how
the soreness slowly receded
as the thumb went
from loud purple
to deep red
before finally calming
to pink again.

If I can recollect
all these parts
then I can harmonize
in a way that blends
the thorn anger with
the loving vine remembrance
moving beneath the pain.

Perhaps then
I can finally accept
the answer when
I ask myself why
the bee had to sting.

Perhaps then
I will never again forget
this song.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton

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Thursday, May 13, 2010


author’s note:

I thought one "bee" poem should be followed by another (see last post).

“How slowly we flash up in clarity!”
                     --  Nelly Sachs


Their whirring wings
I could barely hear
and so,
could hardly bear

but by listening
I could feel
the winter bees
building back--

that’s how
I made connection
in a broken shelter
that worked like a trap--

that’s how
I found a door,
a loving door--though dark--

past which, I discovered
another door--a massive door--
a door of ancient ores--

that I can not open…

yet--I’m told:
some feasting must wait

because I need
to curl on the floor
against a tree, a tree
of strong soft bark,
strong soft hands--

wait, because I need
to sit at the threshold
and decipher river sounds
echoing from the cave below.

The earth is much too rich
at such times.  Yet I’m impatient--
how long must I wait?  Impatient,
though I know completion
will be bittersweet:
when I must rise, when I lift--

the way a butterfly
seems to wobble
as it brings in
the breeze--

when I move
to the door
the blank door--
the door of ores reclaimed--
with splinters of light
bursting from its seams.

© 2010, Michael R. Patton

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