The shallow boxes flowery from the top of the beehive
Seem to hold an explosive force
When they are opened to carry out that
Holy extraction of miraculous food
Bursting from the bowels of the earth with
The lips of light flower stalks, volcanoes of glucose,
Floral rains from the vegetative cycle,
Springtime from the wheat and the cherry tree,
Humble offering, precious, unconditional
From the sacred earth to its living man,
Bee foretold from space and from Eden.

The frames imprison honeycombs of honey
Factories of ploughed tissues with woof and weft
And they capture seeds, orchards, fields and threshing
Which are there amidst the wax lids and the rapid wing-beats
Of the bees, so many bees together,
Millions of flights amongst the flowers are enclosed within
That honeycomb, with hard, toughened hands,
Sweaty, smoky, shaking and stung,
Unaware of the adoration,
Of the use, of the hunger and the work.

The cut lids rest on the nets,
The blade has violated with incredulous eyes,
Before so much astounding bounty,
Waxen knowledge cemented,
That kneading-trough of the life of the bees


Cellar and storehouse huddled in the honeycomb,
Like a thief in the wine-tasting cellars
Like a starving man in the granary
Like a thirsty man at the fountain
Who let their wounds fall as drops,
White bread, even precious,
Yellow from the wax hard-working and good
Taste and prelude, natural aroma.

Only the honeycomb is left, the frames are left dry,
The arms of the honey extractor are robust
And turn quickly, they turn deeply,
The chest opens to marvelling breaths
The heart of those who love bees opens
It opens to the sky and to grace,
It opens to the air that flows from the whirling tripod
Source of a true river of honey.

How did you do it little bee, forgotten
And mysterious being, how did you create all of this?!


  Translation courtesy of Marion Apley Porreca