Joy by Julia Cadwallader-Staub

Who could need more proof than honey—

How the bees with such skill and purpose
enter flower after flower
sing their way home
to create and cap the new honey
just to get through the flowerless winter.

And how the bear with intention and cunning
raids the hive
shovels pawful after pawful into his happy mouth
bats away indignant bees
stumbles off in a stupor of satiation and stickiness.

And how we humans can’t resist its viscosity
its taste of clover and wind
its metaphorical power:
don’t we yearn for a land of milk and honey?
don’t we call our loved ones “honey?”

all because bees just do, over and over again, what they were made to do.

Oh, who could need more proof than honey
to know that our world
was meant to be

and

was meant to be
sweet?

Joy

On this dreary beginning of December day, I went looking for something to lighten the day, a drop of sweetness. I’ve enjoyed Cadwallader-Staub’s poetry before and posted Blackbirds just this past June.

She opens and closes with her inviting question Who could need more proof than honey? Then begins with the bees who sing their way home to make new honey just to get through the flowerless winter. I love the phrase ‘flowerless winter’ because it is true in this part of the world and is in such sharp contrast to the image of bees in and out of summer flowers.

Then we see the cunning bear raiding the hive until it stumbles off in a stupor of satiation and stickiness. Oh happy alliteration! Reminds me of Pooh bear in my childhood and his constant craving for the sweetness of honey which I also shared.

Next she describes how humans cannot resist its taste of clover and wind. Clover yes, of course, but wind I had not considered. She reminds us of honey’s metaphorical power: an idyllic land of milk and honey; the term of endearment we have probably all used to express our love.

And all of this just because bees do what they were made to do. She offers their honey as proof that our world / was meant to be. And more than that, it was meant to be / sweet. Makes me appreciate our disappearing bees even more than before. So go taste a spoonful of honey before it’s too late – our pandemic world needs all the sweetness it can get.

10 thoughts on “Joy by Julia Cadwallader-Staub

  1. Thinking of honey and thinking of you – How much sweeter my day is now
    A sweet smile – the kind that comes with an OMG(goddess) after teeth sink into the sweet summer strawberry and juice runs down my face – that sweetness, full of the moment of joy – this kind of sweet smile is coming to you from me, oh sweet Jan 🙂 xo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The imagery in this poem and your commentary, is so rich with so much texture. I love it. Margaret 613-725-6941 h 613-795-9879 c

    Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.

    – Oscar Wilde.

    >

    Like

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