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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson

Poem in the Winter Online Issue of Juniper

My poem “Bee’s Tongue” written recently from a Hospice nursing memory is up on the beautiful online magazine Juniper: Http://Juniperpoetry.com. It is a Canadian publication edited by the amazing Lisa Young. Please go to the website to see the lovely foxglove illustration and accompanies my poem and to read the other beautiful and touching work.

Bee’s Tongue

I walked a hallway twice a week

those months of autumn. And each time,

I passed the framed photo of a honeybee

on the lip of a foxglove

her long filament of seldom seen tongue

thinner than thread, curved

like the frond of an early spring fern.

And each visit, someone

pointed it out as if we both saw it,

that blurry vision, for the first time

distraction from what waited

in the hospice room ahead.

I once asked a friend, a botanist,

how to locate the heart of a flower,

focus of life force, antiphon

of time. Anatomy of beauty

not hers to explain. And once I felt

the pulse within a fir, my hand

flat against its rough, vibrating bark.

I put my fingers to my own wrist

to assure a different tempo,

the tree much slower in its somber knell.

And maybe this encounter proved

that the low vegetable thrum

is everywhere, undetected except

by the tongue of a bee, in the hall

that is prelude to silence.

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