Invincible Summer |||

From exile

This is a dry and yellow country
where rain does not repeat itself.
The light lies shattered on the rocks
and night betrays no glow of cities.

I am betrayed by bees: the hives
that old hobby, stand guard behind the house.
Some sentinels – my old habit
will bring the soldiers yet. On different days
the buzzing is neither peaceful nor disturbed. 

The children are here and now
go running through the many rooms.
The garden just a garden for them
they join me on my many walks
hunting thyme, rosemary, coriander. 

Here the bees travel far for flowers
return to dance for a single bush.
We are kept busy tending the combs
while honey is a glut the bees ignore.

At midnight I am writing to friends
not knowing whether you will be among them.
News is infrequent and confused.
The peasants hear nothing beyond the next field
smile at the children, say the house of bees, eh?
and pinch their cheeks. The spirals
of the queen continue. The wind
is the only giant on the plain, and winter
is expected. We flavour honey with herbs
and the bees die 
on days suddenly cold and very clear.