1. In late spring on Tivy Mountain I caught sight of a solitary bee. A straggler to the buds of late blooming flowers, Red daisies, a snapdragon’s yellow universe. Flower crowns nod, and nod again. 2. Guests of the flower, blue-collar Souls of Nymphs that once served Zeus, Fed him milk from Amalthea--- And honey---the essence of life. Bees devour the nectar From the pollinating flowers, The flowers thank the Bees And pay them in pollen. 3. A Queen, To a colony of thousands, And a few hundred worker drones In a division of labor. The sacred bee-workers droning An ecstatic trance. A honeycomb, Wax hexagonal cells Secreted by the working-class, To store honey and pollen, House the eggs, and larvae. The life of the bee-family: Pollinating the nearby crops, Producing honey, and procreation. 4. The sun, a preferred compass Under cloudy skies or dark beehives, Uses the earth's magnetic field With their gift for prophesy, Navigation relies on spatial memory. Intelligent beings, they are, Rational, and industrious. Not to stand idly by With listless indifference. A solitary and social species, Closely related to the ant. 5. Lying on a grassy fold Under a Valley Oak tree On the side of a mountain, The day is honey-colored. The sun, a marigold flower. I watch the sacred insect Gently touch upon a leaf As if to catch its breath Before resuming work. 6. Watch and wait, As the creature who flies Busy and purposeful, Surveys the area in a figure-eight, Taking its bearings, in search Of the blossom’s hidden store. Kill time while the bees Return to feed again, Become heavy, molasses laden, And slow flying. For the airborne stream, On the pheromone trail Orient themselves, Deposit the rich fluid, The sweet cargo. Returning in a fast wing-beat, Genuflecting to the pure Mother Bee with gifts of love. Poem by Stephen Barile Stephen Barile, a Fresno, California native, educated in the public schools, attended Fresno City College, Fresno Pacific University, and California State University, Fresno. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, in both print and on-line. Stephen Barile taught writing at Madera College, and CSU Fresno. He lives in Fresno, CA.