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The Honey of Life

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  • The Honey of Life


    ...poetry is a way of coping with our lower selves, not of getting in touch with the reptile in us. Our lower minds do not write our poetry.
    -L.P. Turco, Visions and Revisions of American Poetry, University of Arkansas Press, Fayetteville, 1986, p. 153.

    Do not mock the wine; it is bitter only because it is my life.
    -Jalalu’d-Din Rumi

    There is only one fragrance like it
    in the world and I can enjoy it
    in my garden all year round:
    reminds me of freshness,
    cleanly-clarity, home-made
    lemon pies and those special biscuits
    mother used to make-
    the ones she kept in the fridge.
    The flowers are sweet with five petals
    and smooth green leaves embrace them
    with a kiss of distance and freshly-scented air.
    This green and white domain contains
    bright yellow fruit, in abandon, tough-skinned
    beautifully round like full breasts waiting to be
    touched, rubbed, felt-up and around,
    but be warned,
    beyond a lingering, freshly-minted
    flavour, like a faint honey of life,
    a bitterness, some kind of poisonous liquid,
    lies in wait behind the lush fullness,
    marked: do not drink.

    This world of green and gold,
    with a sweetness one can almost taste,
    falling on pebbles who look up in pride
    and appreciation for the gifts of colour
    and wealth they’ve been given,
    delights the eye,
    reason’s chief aid in finding why,
    passion’s maid for those who’d fly
    beyond life’s limits before we die.
    Do not drink this juice, She says,
    from beauty’s home;
    ‘twill embitter your taste;
    what your eyes reveal,
    your heart will moan,
    if you but taste what
    she has to drink; it is too much
    when you get close to her bone.

    Ron Price
    15 September 1995
    married and a teacher for over 35 years. Associated with the Baha'i Faith for 54 years.