One of my longtime favorite artists, Stephanie Pui-Mun Law shared this poem, and gave me permission to share it with you here. I find it moving, bittersweet. Enjoy! -E-
Lament of Aristaeus
I mourned once for their passing.
Must I now mourn again?
They paid once for my folly.
Must they now pay again?
I chased a girl
in a moment of wildness,
a moment of madness;
and then she was gone,
and they were gone
in payment for her young life.
And he, whom she chose to love above me:
he was gone too,
with nothing but a song to mark his passage.
(Though what a song it was!)
They left me with nothing
but the shadow of the hives
and the shadow of the lives
that once buzzed within.
I know I was at fault,
and it was just, though cruel, retribution
that took my honey-laden children.
I have done no wrong this time.
There is no girl,
no Bacchanial madness in my eyes.
no death for a death.
No retribution earned.
My children are the victims now.
Pollen-heavy, their bodies fall to the ground
like a golden snowdrift,
and as cold.
Who will pay for their casual casualties?
I would not wish the retribution I received
visited upon another,
just or not.
Who will be the one to mourn?
No boy, and no song (no matter how sweet)
will be able to bring back the fallen,
and stem the honey-mead
seeping through the cracks.