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.
#DryJanuary 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 Simultaneously 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.