Salutations to the Divine Bee – a poem by Sudasi J. Clement

Salutations to the Divine Bee
                        (after a Hindu chant: The 108 Names of Devi)
Om You whose compass is the sun
Om You of impeccable hexagon 
Om Round-dancer
Om Waggle-dancer
Om Yellow-faced avatar 
Om You of a thousand looping miles 
Om You, loaded, low-flying slow
Om to the One who needs no passport 
Om to the One who departs her hive at sunrise
Om to the One who empties pollen-baskets
Om Glittering tibia
Om Colony
Om Aggregate
Om Division of Labor 
Om Stingerless drone 
Om Nurse-bee
Om Baby 
Om Honey
Om You of bountiful eyes
Om You of striking proboscis
Om You of Yeats’ bee-loud glade
Om You of Beatrix Potter’s Bubbity Bumble
Om You of beckoning petals
Om You asleep in saffron bells
Om You asleep under snow 
Om Tears of Ra
Om Bhramari
Om Ah-Muzen-Cab
Om Aristaeus
Om Melissa 
Om Matriarchal clan 
Om You of haploid and diploid
Om Supersister
Om Vulture bee
Om She who enters a carcass through its eye
Om Delicacy of toad and shrike 
Om Tawny miner bee
Om Orchid bee
Om Cellophane bee
Om Forager 
Om Leaf-cutter 
Om Builder
Om Scout
Om Guard
Om Robber bee
Om You breaking into the capped cell
Om You ferrying stolen honey to your hive
Om Gymnast
Om Acrobat
Om You who have solved the problem 
            of the traveling salesman
Om Forewing
Om Hindwing
Om Gold-dusted swarm 
Om Bijou helicopter 
Om Delicate mechanoreceptors 
Om You who carry a comb wherever you go 
Om You carefully grooming your antennae
Om Stubbled fur
Om You who are adapted to both chewing 
            and sucking
Om Cucumber bee
Om Blueberry bee
Om You of thistle and rose
Om You, Supreme Alchemist 
Om to the One who sips Maraschino-factory runoff 
Om Hot-pink honey 
Om Consort of the Queen 
Om Queen 
Om You of countless eggs 
Om Wallace’s giant bee, big as a thumb
Om You of the 37-year disappearance 
Om You of slender waist
Om You of amber-striped abdomen
Om Puddle-drinker
Om Sweat-licker
Om You in our birdbaths
Om You patching cracks in the hive 
Om You on three pair of legs
Om Great banded furrow-bee 
Om You, last of your kind 
Om Bombini
Om Buzz 
Om Fuzzy bum
Om Humblebee 
Om Haphazard bumble
Om Drowsy hum
Om Maze-master
Om Tree-nester
Om Seeker 
Om Stinger
Om You who are free of delusion
Om You who are ever at peace with your devotees
Om Caffeine-lover
Om Tipsy neighbor
Om Picnic Crasher
Om Backyard Flashmob
Om Iridescent surprise 
Om Field Pixie 
Om Jewel of the orchard
Om Bee-heart
Om Bee-breath
Om Ragged-winged elder bee 
Om Slow-wave slumber
Om Sleep-deprived stumbler 
Om You on the rim of my bowl 
Om Bringer of Luck
Om Keeper
Om Kept
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

Sudasi J. Clement is the author of the chapbook, The Bones We Have in Common, Slipstream Press, 2012, and the former poetry editor of Santa Fe Literary Review, 2006-2016. Sudasi’s poems have appeared in Rewilding: Poems for the Environment (Split Rock Review & Flexible Press), Calyx, Sky Island Journal, Room Magazine and pacificREVIEW, among others. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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