Suddenly the Tree
The hive slept like Argus
its thousand eyes covered with bees.
The light as it fell through the neem tree
was a marine light, in which
yellow moths set sail
from one perforated shadow to another.
The hive was mystic,
a drugged mantra
with its dark syllables asleep.
As the afternoon wore on
the honey-thieves came
and smoked the bees out
and carved out a honey-laden
crescent for themselves
and left a lump of pocked wax behind.
The bees roamed the house,
too bewildered to sting the children.
At night they slept, clinging
to the tree fork, now scarred with burns.
Sparrows and squirrels, a bird
with a black crest and a red half-moon
for an eyelid bickered over
the waxed remains the next day.
Then with a drone of straining engines
the bees rose like a swarm of passions
from a dying heart, and left.
[From 'The Glass-Blower: Selected Poems']
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Comments about this poem (Suddenly the Tree by Keki Daruwalla )
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)
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(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
(31 October 1795 – 23 February 1821)
(10 December 1830 – 15 May 1886)
Edgar Allan Poe
(19 January 1809 - 7 October 1849)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
William Butler Yeats
(13 June 1865 – 28 January 1939)
(28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827)
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