Monday, August 20, 2012

Safe in honey

Warmed by the sun, amber quickens and streams,
remembering a golden world within wood.
A honey bee wakes in the dream of amber
and bursts from the yellow dome in its silver mount.

I track the bee to the old barn, paint-less and forgotten,
we had thought an abandoned wreck.
Something has been working here, unseen.
The barn is filled with sweetness. Honey drips from the rafters.
Soon I am drunk with abundance, giddy with joy.

The drone of the bees is a song, the chant of melissai.
I remember priestesses who bring the honey of the invisible
and always lead home to the bosom of the Great Mother.
With the song, a power is rising in the dark amber shadows.
I feel the heat of its quivering flanks.
Earth heaves with the stamping hooves;
its great windy mane drives a breeze through the still air.
It comes to me now, and I mount it with joy, safe in honey.


I rediscovered the text of this poem (composed in 2006 and not included in my forthcoming collection, Here, Everything Is Dreaming) just now. It revives my desire to learn more about the mysteries of the ancient Bee Goddess, the honeybee priestesses, and the connection between honey and amber. I look to the Baltic for the most reliable access to these things, because  the Bee Goddess (whose Lithuanian name is Austeja) is still known and revered there, and this is the source of the most precious amber, and because ancient priestesses of this tradition have communicated with me directly when I have been in the Baltic lands. 


cobweb said...

Lovely stuff Amber easy to see why it excites the imagination....Bee Goddess! Of course, the bringer of all thing wholesome and healing, seems a natural elevation.
Robert, thought you might like the information on this site if you don't know it already:-
Seems to my mind to dove-tail with your thoughts and ideas.

Robert Moss said...

Hi Cobweb - I was glad to see the information about Turul, the mythic falcon of the Magyars, who sired their first king(according to the story) by impregnating Emese in a dream) and later guided the horde to what is now Hungary. Interesting how often stories of this kind feature in national legends; in preparation for my journey to Turkey next month, I was just now re-reading the legend of Osman's dream, told and re-told by the Ottoman dynasty he founded as a kind of dream charter for their empire. It's quite correct, i think, to seek a shamanic root for early heraldry. The piece to which you supplied a link might have gone further on this front by inquiring, for example, into whether the doubling of a feature in the depiction of an animal (whether the double-headed eagle of Europe or the orca with two dorsal fins in the indigenous art of the Pacific Northwest) may indicate that we are dealing with the animal spirit and shamanic familiar.