Rebecca Clark: Bee 25 (collapse) , 2011, graphite on paper, 5 x 7 in.
"Death of the Queen"
by Lee H. McCormack
I cannot defend her any longer as she lies
among the citadels of flowers
at this unholy hour when all nations call for war.
It is not yet time for Kyries to be sung
by drones who will lift her empty shell
of bones and carry them from shore.
It is a time of sacrifice, of ritual confession
in hives of mediation and concession
that no one but those chosen are allowed.
Even in love a life is only worth as much
as the earth and ash it is made of. Every birth
demands another death, and nothing more.
But she is not the figure of the land, neither
in mountains or meadows, rivers or prairies
in slow drift towards renewal with her
hands enfolding another petal.
How does the withering go? one asks
but she cannot reply, and those who know
are the ones who die each winter so
birds can feed on the remnants of her
discolored flesh of snow. Yet she draws me in
to her fading with such gravity, how can I resist?
All life is terrifying in its radiance and beauty,
all love exquisite in the pain of absolute being.
With these blue eyes opened wide I will enter
the mouth of the hive as another slain warrior
should. I will set aside armor and my sword,
and lie my naked body down beside her
to make my sleep become one with the endless
dream she is dreaming. And if I tremble
it will be bits of pollen trembling on her lips
and a final trembling in her laced wings,
and the trembling towers, falling to be raised again
in spring worship and praise of winter’s death and
the cleansing, and of her rebirth and resurrection
creating everything I see, will ever know, and can be.
LHM © 2014