Are the honey days
the end of summer days?
Who said that?                                                                    starts as a flower

Through the woods light
and dust motes,
fields of pollen, stars,
corn flowers,                                                                                     collected by bees
a whole archive
of golden things,
wedding rings, daisies
paintings by Van Gogh                                           the design of the honeycomb
passages by Fitzgerald,                                            and constant fanning of the wings
Luke Skywalker,
favorite corners                                                                                causes
of libraries                                                                                                     sweet liquid honey
found the rods and cones
of our August eyes
and honeycomb hearts.                                            it doesn’t matter

If we have to hunt                                                              if the container
for what used to find us,                                                    if the honey
let’s admit                                                                         if the label
that we’re ready,
that our instruments
are tuned                                                                                         that doesn’t alter
or else
let’s battle the premise,                                                                               the composition
doubt our dull senses,
and trust our truer instruments
that know no end of music.

Collage by Rebecca Hart Olander, response poem by Elizabeth Paul, from their collaborative manuscript Our Edges Away.

Rebecca Hart Olander’s poetry appeared recently in Plath Poetry Project, Mom Egg Review, and SWIMM Every Day; her critical work has appeared in Rain Taxi Review of Books, Solstice Literary Magazine, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. She is a winner of the Women’s National Book Association Poetry Award and a Pushcart nominee. Rebecca teaches writing at Westfield State University in Western Massachusetts and is editor/director of Perugia Press.

Elizabeth Paul\’s chapbook Reading Girl (Finishing Line Press, 2016) is a collection of ekphrastic prose poems inspired by paintings of Henri Matisse. Her poems and essays are published or forthcoming in Cold Mountain Review, Carolina Quarterly, The Briar Cliff Review, Sweet, and elsewhere. Liz served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Kyrgyzstan and currently teaches writing at George Mason University in Virginia.