Bald-faced Hornet · Kendall Lake

May we be more honest about what we are

X
by KJ Ceranowski

[The bald-faced hornet is not actually a hornet. It is a yellowjacket wasp
that, unlike its tawny cousins, lacks yellow pigmentation. It is instead dressed in white stripes and splotches—piebald, bald-faced, as in a ghostly (ghastly?) white visage.]

We call them so many things they are not: hornet, aggressive, bull wasp
as if brutish, as if their sting is a random offensive, an attack
for lack of anything better or a lashing out with undue cause,
unwarranted and reckless

I know too well how easily a defensive needle is mistaken for
aggression. I have been taken for the same—vengeful, unable
to let it go or forgive without calamity

Scientists believe wasps can remember faces in their particularity
each curve, crevice, angle of jaw and squint of eye—this wasp will
single out an invader whose face cannot be forgotten, attacking only
the one in a crowd

Perhaps there is a lesson here in letting go…

But who else will save us when we might have died but didn’t? Who else
will counter the invasion, take the sting out of the wound?

In the face of the ghost: threat, a bite to ease the pain of another pain—
when they call you a monster, do not forget
every smile is full of teeth

 

 

 

 

Continue Reading

Eastern ForktailLindsay Barba

CoyoteStephanie Ginese

Common MilkweedDelilah McCrea

Showy OrchisBill Newby

American Witch-hazelQuartez Harris

Common CarpDavid Hassler

Common PawpawIsaiah Back-Gaal

MayappleRebecca Wohlever

Common DewberryPeter McWilliams

North American River OtterAnastasios Mihalopoulos

Winter FireflyIsaiah Hunt

Virginia BluebellsBronlynn Thurman

American RobinKari Gunter-Seymour

American CrowJason Harris

Eastern CottontailEros Livieratos

Bald-faced HornetKJ Ceranowski

Poverty OatgrassHaylee Schwenk

Song SparrowVirginia Konchan

Wood DuckDiana Lueptow

Japanese HoneysuckleShei Sanchez

Yellow BullheadTed Lardner

Funeral BellTishon Woolcock

Common DandelionCora Liderbach

WarmouthCamille Ferguson

Snapping TurtleJessica Jewell

SassafrasAndrea Imdacha

Poison IvyMarina Vladova

Pharaoh CicadaCathy Barber

Northern Dusky SlugRay McNiece

JewelweedJudith Mansour

DamselfliesKen Tomaro

BloodrootChad Lutz

KilldeerMary Biddinger

Big Brown BatSujata Lakhe

Barred OwlCourtney Noster

Long-eared OwlMichael Loderstedt

Isabella Tiger MothLeah Graham

American SycamoreMegan Lubey

Water Forget-Me-NotAlyssa Perry

Masked BeesZach Savich

TrilliumKimberlee Medicine Horn Jackson

CrayfishConor Bracken

Great Blue HeronDan Dorman

American SweetgumCaryl Pagel

Painted TurtleRebekah Ainsworth

Green DarnerMarion Boyer

American BeaverKatie Daley

Eastern Screech-OwlDr. R. Ray Gehani

Spring PeeperBarbara Sabol

Eastern Carpenter BeeSylvia Clark

Jacob's LadderRisha Nicole

Candleflame LichenClara Britton

Eastern NewtElizabeth Ryan

American BullfrogLaura Grace Weldon

American ChestnutCarrie George

American GoldfinchMarybeth Cieplinski

American HornbeamJeff Gundy

Artist’s BracketSusann Moeller

Banded Fishing SpiderCharlie Malone

BluegillOlivia Farina

Common Star-of-BethlehemBrita Alaburda

Common StonefliesKaren Schubert

Eastern ChipmunkNathan Kemp

Firefly BeetleJacquie Peoples Dukes

Gray CatbirdTheresa Brightman

Great MulleinLaurie Kincer

Green HeronPaula J. Lambert

HepaticaAmanda Schuster

Interrupted FernKathleen Cerveny

Jack-in-the-PulpitMichael Buebe

Meadow VoleRoberta Jupin

Monarch ButterflyDeborah Fleming

MuskratCatherine Wing

Pearl CrescentMonica Kaiser

Poison HemlockJon Conley

Star JelliesCameron Gorman

Sugar MapleSteve Brightman

Turkey VultureAndrew Gilkey

White-footed MouseMichelle Bissell

White-tailed DeerBenjamin Rhodes

Wild CarrotJessica Jones

ABOUT

Traveling Stanzas community arts projects bring poetry to people’s everyday lives through innovative methods and digital platforms.

Made possible with support from the Poetry Coalition.