Mom introduced me to honey & #DryJanuary

Mom introduced me to honey
Nicole Bailey 

More bee than girl at eleven.
I gather honey like pollen
at Puget Consumers Co-Op.
Weigh, then fill a Mason 
jar or Farman’s pickle

Varietals—huckleberry, or wild mountain blackberry
Hellebore and fennel taste of spice and sunshine 
Non-native honeybees find French lavender
In Yakima apricot or cherry blossoms will do.
Common things they pollinate. 

Weigh the jar, fill the container.
Fill the jars, but don’t overflow.
A full vat runs in moments,
empty, a slow trickle.

Common, mom called me, 
when at seventeen
I found love and pollination.
Still there is a sweetness in firsts
when before you is everything.
Weigh the jar, fill the container.

Sometimes when I lose track of my young son
he returns, tells me
mom, I was just watching the bees.

Nicole Bailey 

I lie on my yoga mat and think about not drinking
outside the dark world is barren 
the rocky ground has been cleared for planting
It looks dead, my husband says
to conserve energy for the fruiting
I pull inward

Along the fence-line 
not even a crocus shows her face
This type of hibernation 
when short days line up 
end upon end upon end upon

In spite of the name
the rain falls incessantly 
soaking everything in her path, nothing 
is dry, hard clays of August 
a distant memory

I instruct myself to go inward 
Write messages of love
on heart-parchment, then
crack it wide open


Deep underground, below a bed of glittering hoarfrost 
mycelium extends her neural network
the work of forty-thousand years
her reach, a comfort to the roots of a great Douglas fir 

In this way, Janus quietly mends the earth 

Nicole Bailey is a Pacific Northwest poet obsessed with nature. An avid hiker with an eye for coyotes, she often writes about environmental change and its effect on wildlife. A past editor of the American River Review, she is part of the community of writers at Hugo House.

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