by Penn Kemp
To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee. / And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
Bees are sadly far fewer now, dear Emily Dickinson, but
these days it will take more than revery to save our planet,
our province, our town. What is right action? What follows
hope? We write protest letters to ban roundup. We march.
What to do when garden centres sell ‘bee-friendly’ plants
laced with hazardous insecticide levels? We search for
neonicotinoid-free nurseries that offer pollinator-friendly
wildflowers, native old-fashioned flora—late blooming
asters, brown-eyed Susan, goldenrod and wild bergamot.
We are entangled in the consequence of folly and greed.
Where do we take refuge? A walled garden, an open field?
Where do we find ourselves, our freedom, in the ongoing
lurch between our own restoration and public offerings?
We bear witness. We cannot be excused until we change
the narrative. We retrieve all the paradox of multiplicity.
We learn to live with the many complexities of community,
whether wild or sustained, whether municipal or country.
We learn respect. We learn to listen. We learn when to be
still and when to move. Revery will no longer do but it’s
a start, the necessary pause before action we can trust.
We call on the Goddess to guide us. We call Demeter here.