Buried are the old drones

On the cold, hungry night of autumn

With the desire forever vanished

Of the lovely spring bride

In the sun in the high strata of the blue sky,

The winter residence awaits

The sleepy cluster of matryoshkas*,

Amongst the silent, small sugar hexagons,

The only heating for the honeycomb house,

Without the fur coating of the ermine

Or precious, perfumed cloth drapery

And not even exotic, outstretched rugs

Or oil-burning radiators and heaters.    


The snow can shroud the palace

Of the bees with a mantle of mystery

That only a fable seems to possess,

Amongst sphinxes and balsamic froth

On stormy nights, in the darkness of

Seasoned wood, winter beehive,

Prosthesis of the heat of the bees,

Protective expansion and shelter. 


Bulbs, roots and tubers nurture

The hermit in prayer to

The infinite, unknown destiny,

Near the restorative fires of

Solitude, that even the bees have

In the transforming energy of the

Comforting honey full of grace,

When the solitary winter path

Indicates the road with its baton

Of winds and tempests.


The circle of bees prudently moves

In the cluster, in and out,

To touch in turn the queen

Hungry at the center of the colony,

That narrates many stories to them and can

Inspire many adventures

That all little ones love and that

Can keep that secret of the stars

On the role of the night, when

Sleeping dreams the dawn of a new day.  


Shepherd’s purse** under the vines

Does not know how to offer its fresh pollen

For the first hatchlings of the year.


* A matryoshka doll or Russian nested doll (also called stacking dolls or Babushka dolls) is a set of dolls of decreasing sizes placed one inside another. "Matryoshka" is a diminutive from the Russian female first name "Matryona", which is traditionally associated with a corpulent, robust, rustic Russian woman.

 ** Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is a rather small plant originally from Europe, but has become very common in many parts of the world. Its name derives from Latin and means "purse of the shepherd". This name refers to the capsule in the shape of a shepherd’s purse.  The seeds of this plant give off a viscous compound when moistened. Aquatic insects stick to it and eventually die. This can be used as a mosquito control method, killing off the mosquito larvae and makes it a borderline carnivorous plant. The seeds, leaves, and root of this plant are edible. In China, it is commercially grown for consumption. "Stir-fried Shepherd's Purse leaves" is considered a local delicacy. Medicinally, it has been used to stop bleeding.


Translation courtesy of Dan Aspromonte