Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Two Poems by James Stout

Honeybee Existence

If I take a moment to reflect
On my lifespan versus that of the honeybee
My awe turns to envy:
How little I do.
Shall I confess?
I am the lazy salesman
Who sits in the dark corner,
Customers walk right by me.
I am the sleepy parent
Who turns on the television set,
Watch the show and be quiet my son.
My self-portraiture is interrupted,
As dusk comes swiftly.
The honeybees return to their hives,
Legs packed with pollen,
Stomachs gorged on nectar.
For the last time I think
About tomorrow and more tomorrows—
And all of the squandered yesterdays.


I meditate beside a fresh flowing stream
And hear water falling faithfully over rocks
Down…always down.
I cup water into my hand and drink.
A winged rainbow flutters by
Alighting onto an allium flower,
Resting…then flying
Above the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains.
The water speaks of its voyage.
Endless tales of coming and going
Splitting…water braided.
From clouds to mountaintops, through passages.
I quench my metaphysical thirst.
Contemplating multiple sinuous sources of energy
Several interconnecting streams meander.
The bedrock river is absent of alluvium mantling
And my reflection ripples pensively
Grinning…no, not quite.
I look downstream between ancient banks
Glistening jewels of sunlight
Dapple the streams’ surface
Riches… treasure chests
Causing my eyes to tear in the cold mountain air.
Reminding me in my silence to do my work
With mastery like the water cycle,
Purifying… ever flowing.
The ephemeral significance evaporates in time.
If you fall from the sky, do so with courage.
If you rise from the sea, do so with love.

James Stout is teaching his thirteenth year of Middle School Language Arts just outside of Raleigh, North Carolina. He has two children, three dogs, and seven chickens. He enjoys gardening and running.

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