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A Discovery
Stephen Anderson

Last spring, the old bay window over the back deck was
Done in by ripsaw, crowbar and sledgehammer—
Smashed into a pile of scattered debris on the deck.
Among the leftovers, in the middle of a boxed-in section,
A hornets’ nest rose up, a Taj Majal dome in miniature, some ten
Inches in diameter, a delicate looking carp scale pattern of maple
Seed and other unknown matter, home, the carpenter said,
To scores of yellow jackets, many of which terrorized us in
Seasons past while we entertained on the deck.
When the nest was torn open, its interior was empty like
Some lost, ancient civilization once sheltered so well by its
intricate design. Now gone forever from our property, a sacrifice
To our sliding deck door, a weatherproof invention—
Man-made technology of high order, lacking, though, the
Miracle that preceded it in that spot.
© by Stephen Anderson.
Used with the author’s permission.

Stephen Anderson is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin poet and translator whose award-winning work has appeared in numerous print and online journals and has been featured on the Milwaukee NPR affiliate, WUWM Lake Effect Program. Stephen is the author of three chapbooks and three full length collections, and several of his poems formed the text for a song cycle in The Privileged Secrets of the Arch, a chamber music composition performed by members of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and an opera singer. A fourth poetry collection, On the Third Planet from the Sun: New and Selected Poems, is forthcoming in the summer of 2024 (Kelsay Books). Stephen’s work is being archived in the Stephen Anderson Collection in the Raynor Libraries at Marquette University.



Post New Comment:
Ginny C.:
Closely observed and clearly described--thanks for sharing this small gem of a poem.
Posted 05/18/2013 12:41 PM
I appreciate your careful observations of the hornet's nest, which most people would simply toss into the garbage--and "the Taj Majal in miniature."
Posted 05/18/2013 10:18 AM
I like the traditional lines, honored quietly by initial caps, part of the confident understated majesty of this poem.
Posted 05/18/2013 08:20 AM

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