THE BEEKEEPER’S VISION
Out of the amber glow we’ll see
the hive of New Jerusalem rise
out of jewel-walled cathedral Athos
cell on cell of Byzantine gold
into that final inward-looking room,
the hortus conclusis, the queen-cell of God
skirring and droning like an organ loft:
an angelic choir of cybernetic sanity.
Dressed for spacewalking in
the low Stonehenge city of hives:
outdoor installations, art, architecture,
mullions of rātā and mānuka,
sole wild sweetness of Egypt and Assyria,
bees batten here as they did at Hymettus and Hyblea,
Herod’s dead queen
floating in the gold aspic of hydromel,
inspirational mead of the Celt and Viking.
Molten gold, a labyrinth of monkish cells,
shattered wax death-mask of Virgil.
and the shining wax of his writing tablet.
Wax of Shakespeare’s candle –
wild honeycomb of bees.
with the faceted jewel-eyes of the bee
that sees all, industrious, and when she stings
it’s fatal – she leaves her broken gut behind.
Bees drink at the flowers of other people’s gardens,
supping up sexual nectar, hoarding the varied pollen
to make new honey.
The whole hive
drones with the low frequency
of their diligence and anxious provocation,
seething swarm, work or die.
Molten gold that burns the mouth,
too hot to eat.
Order and harmony are the lessons
of the bee, the little bride of Christ,
hoarding the honey of grace; come
the bees of Assyria that rest on all things.