You need a key for entering where there is no door.
You are much too full of your mammal self
to fit through the always-open entryway
& in any case would have no idea
how to execute a waggle dance,
which looks like sun-drugged madness to you,
looming over the brood box with your angry halo.
You need the hive tool — a burglar’s jimmy —
to prize the honey-heavy frames
from the super, where they hang
for all the world like file folders,
an archive of everything that blooms.
You bring your smoker, of course,
stuffed with straw you pilfered
from some poor scarecrow.
With tear gas & face shield you come,
gloved & booted,
walking gingerly as a boy with his first erection,
praying for the insurgency to die down.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Odes to Tools now in print
- Ode to a Socket Wrench
- Ode to a Claw Hammer
- Ode to a Musical Saw
- Ode to a Hand Truck
- Ode to a Shovel
- Ode to a Hatchet
- Ode to Scissors
- Ode to a Bucket
- Ode to Forks
- Ode to a Magnetic Screwdriver
- Ode to a Plumb Bob
- Ode to a House Jack
- Ode to a Measuring Tape
- Ode to Scythes
- Ode to a Plane
- Ode to a Spirit Level
- Ode to a Hoe
- Ode to Tin Snips
- Ode to a Crowbar
- Ode to a Coping Saw
- Ode to a Hive Tool
- Ode to a Compass
- Ode to a Shoehorn
- Ode to a Wire Brush
- Woodrat Podcast 2: Elizabeth Adams and “Odes to Tools”
- New Odes to Tools review by Noel Sloboda
- New review of Odes to Tools
- New review of Odes to Tools by Kathleen Kirk
- Odes to Tools as “living poetry”
- Scythes revisited
6 Replies to “Ode to a Hive Tool”
an archive of everything that blooms………
Dave – this is one of the great ones! The ending slays me.
Also especially loved “you are much too full of your mammal self”
We have a hive tool (we call it the bee tool), left over from our failed foray into beekeeping. It is an exceedingly useful tool outside the hive as well.
Thanks for the kind remarks. Again, a poem I’m not personally too fond of, for reasons I can’t entirely pin down, but I’m glad it worked for y’all.
sarah – Yeah, I gather some people use them as paint scrapers!
We stopped keeping bees back in the mid 80s when the bear population exploded.
Fascinated by the first two stanzas in particular.
i love the first line — it’s so wise and true. the last stanza is wild. :]