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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 poet whose work has appeared in numerous print and online publications and has been featured on the Milwaukee NPR affiliate radio station, WUWM.  He is the author of a chapbook, The Silent Tango of Dreams (2006), and his poems have appeared more recently in the anthology, Portals And Piers (2012). As a Peace Corps volunteer, Stephen travelled extensively in South America; he also taught for a year at Queen Mary and Westfield College of the University of London, an arrangement that afforded him a chance to travel throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. As his wife is from Trinidad and Tobago, he has also visited those islands numerous times. Given his varied living experiences, including his childhood in Georgia and Tennessee, Stephen does not consider himself to be a “regional writer” in any way; instead, his poetry more aptly reflects what might be considered a global/universal perspective.



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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