by Rodrigo Dela Peña, Jr.

This morning, I am the bee in the garden
flitting from flower to flower, searching

each fold of petal for a drop of nectar.
Bumblebee with supersonic vision,

tracking every tremor of color,
flickering light, fast-flying birds.

Bee whose iridescent wings beat faster
than a fruit fly’s, hovering gingerly

over orchids with furry lips and stuck-
out tongues. For direction, consider

our language: the waggle dance, how it guides
the hive’s ceaseless labor of foraging

under the glare of a one-eyed god.
We make honey from what we can gather.

IMAGE: “Catalpa pods and bee,” woodblock print by Watanabe Seitei (1916).

Dela Pena

Rodrigo Dela Peña, Jr.,
is a Filipino poet who has been living in Singapore since 2011. He is the author of the chapbook Requiem. His poems have been published in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Kartika Review: An Asian American Journal, The Guardian, and Singapore-based anthologies such as A Luxury We Can Not Afford and The Curious Fruit. He is a recipient of the Palanca Award for Poetry from the Philippines, as well as numerous awards from British Council Singapore’s Writing the City.

PHOTOGRAPH: The author at the Imbiah Nature Walk in Sentosa, Singapore.