Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Bee Swarm

The air was quiet in the back porch sun,
save for what I though was a breeze
drifting down from the treetops where I sat.
So soft at first, I didn’t notice that
the whisper was not whistling branches,
not the rasp of twig on limb,
but a droning buzz drawing closer.
Something zipped past my ear,
catching my lazy eyes in the direction
of an approaching swarm of honey bees.
I bolted from the concrete steps,
spun and wove around like a drunken boxer,
swatting the air hastily as if stung.

This roiling fist of wings, enveloping,
swirled instead around a center,
an atomic nucleus, as the queen
herded her hive to a larger nest.
Around the eaves of my house they clung,
rolled in the air like cloud vapors, rose
faster than I could run around to
the front yard to watch them continue,
down the driveway, across the road,
neighbors wondering what I was chasing.
Barefoot and panting for breath, I watched
the glistening coil disappear into the woods.
I longed to sprout cellophane wings,
to follow her secret pheromone trail
where a hollow tree or rock crevice
waited for her and her horde.


Granny Sue said...

We checked our bees today, David and they're doing well. Your piece is timely! But I think your temperatures must be higher than our 30 degrees today.

You touched the mystery of bees well. Though we keep them we will never really know their cultish rules.

David Wayne Hampton: said...

Thanks! This was inspired by an experience I had a couple of summers ago, so it was definitely much warmer then.

I've always been fascinated by beekeeping. I hope your hives stay healthy and are never affected by that mysterious illness, the "colony collapse disorder."

Granny Sue said...

Me too. We're adding another colony this spring. My son opened his hive yesterday and his bees appeared dead although they were flying just two days ago. It's disheartening for him.

Mike said...

I lost all my bees to that disease a year ago and hope to get them started again this spring. With the economy like it is, it's a good thing to live on a farm where at least you can eat if nothing else.