Saturday, March 12, 2016


"Bees," De proprietatibus rerum
(BNF Fr. 136, fol. 16), c. 1445-1450

Before man-made hives framed easy access
for the curious eye, there were woven skeps,
braided and buzzing as a medieval bride on
her way, swarm in tow, to be wed. Archaic,
yes, but we love old tools, their pleasures of
weight and balance in our hands, touching us
back as if they were alive, honing our senses;
the sweet shaved-wood scent of a gardener’s
trug, the bittersweet metallic unctuousness
of machinist’s oil, slick on our fingers. Twenty
beekeepers clothed in white, walking down a
country road: have they learned the smoky,
honeyed love that weaving and filling a skep
can teach, or are their hives all panopticons?

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