Wasp nest

The Acer, a burning bush 
has fizzled out. Curled leaf litter
settles for deciduous decay.
I'm tidying away
all the bloom and carnival
of the growing year.
I'm hoping against hope
that winter will not come late
ice after rain, to decimate.

There are wasps still residing
under roof tiles. Still foraging.
They leave like an expeditionary force
several wings, another and another
with pauses in between. Far far
fewer than summer's raiding parties.
There must have been thousands then.
But now Autumn has progressed
they too begin to fall.
Through the porch light
Yellowjackets, only half ablaze.

Four o'clock and with the gloaming
a rest from garden chores.
The fliers return. I stand as if to check them in
the way returning aircraft are counted
after bombing raids, dog fights in the sky.
First the luckier ones full of pluck
the later few on a wing and prayer
some in the water, by fire, pulverized.

O God, it feels so cruel
to let your creatures perish thus.
The wasps are weak from hunger.
In the nest, there's a gathering chill
I shall miss them after all.

A poem initially inspired by Dora’s ‘Epiphany in the Time of Holiday‘ but I suddenly saw things differently, in quite another time so am linking up with Michelle for another Open Link Night

40 thoughts on “Wasp nest

  1. This is exquisitely woven, Laura! I can picture those wasps “few on a wing and prayer some in the water, by fire, pulverized,”.. and join in the hope that winter will not be late. 💝💝

  2. This is exactly what I admire with very good poetry — the ability to look at a small almost insignificant incident or happening and open it up to so much, bringing so much into it. I really liked this poem very much for that, for bringing the seasons in, and in the demise of the wasps the final realisation…

  3. I never thought I would feel sympathy for a wasp, but you have managed to evoke this feeling through your words! I love the complimentary fiery imagery of the acers and the yellowjackets.

  4. The minute I saw “the burning bush” foreshadowing an epiphany, I wondered what holy ground we would tread. That is, until the poem took a turn towards a lament for the inevitable death as seasons turn. So no holy ground. But a ground seeded with love, compassion, a sense of what ought to be, with death as the enemy. And I love this ground. Holy after all.
    Beautifully wrought poetry, Laura.

  5. Those buzzers can be a problem when they get into your space. I never miss them when they are gone, although I am told they do have a purpose in the eco-system~ Well done.

  6. Those moments that turn us inside out. So much that we neither see nor acknowledge as we busy ourselves with life. (K)

  7. When you work in the garden, “tidying away the bloom and carnival,” you get this feeling you convey so well in this poem, of connection to everything alive within it. I have felt sympathy for the very dirt, let alone a living wasp–just beautiful the way you’ve brought it to life here, and made each stitch of the yellow jacket vivid, and something that matters.

  8. You’re like me, I have a soft spot for anything alive, almost. Your descriptions here are vivid; you’ve evoked a time of year and its attendant mood marvelously

  9. A lovely tribute to those little creatures least appreciated. Truly enjoyed the observational details of their life’s journey and the way the appreciation for their existence grows with the poem.

  10. I feel the chill of autumn and the turning of the season throughout this, Laura 🙂 I particularly like the third stanza, and the lines:
    “The fliers return. I stand as if to check them in
    the way returning aircraft are counted
    after bombing raids, dog fights in the sky.”
    Such an evocative image 🙂

  11. I appreciate how this poem offers a different perspective and widens the view. I especially like,
    “all the bloom and carnival
    of the growing year.”
    I felt the turning of the season in your words.

  12. The degree of empathy you’ve roused in this poem matters. The number of insect species being visited by the plague of declining numbers is not only sad, it’s worrisome.

    1. I agree – so much depends on the insect world, including these wasps, which is almost invisible to our attention whilst pest control chemicals abound!

Comments are closed.