A thing of beauty outside
harbors danger and threat inside.
I can’t touch this tissue paper football nest
with its beating buzzing hornet hearts
yet the dwellers inside allow me
to admire their craftsmanship.In a few short weeks, as they sleep,
the north winds will tear it free from its tight hold,
bear it aloft in its lightness of being,
and it will fall, crushed, broken,
its secret heart revealed
and all that stings will be let go.
…And I think They know my strength, Can gauge The danger of their work: One blow could crush them And their nest; and I am not their friend.
And yet they seem Too deeply and too fiercely occupied To bother to attend. Perhaps they sense I’ll never deal the blow, For, though I am not in nor of them, Still I think I know What it is like to live In an alien and gigantic universe, a stranger, Building the fragile citadels of love On the edge of danger. ~James Rosenberg from “The Wasps’ Nest”
It hangs undisturbed from the eastern eave of the old milk shed, away from view from the house but its busy citizens visit our picnics, greedily buzz our compost bin, shoot bullet-like out of the garbage can when I lift the lid. This nest is their nighttime respite for a few more months before a freeze renders the them to slow motion. Winter hibernation will be a tenuous business for this paper home, as it faces battering from northeasters, likely to be soaked, torn and shredded in the harsh winds.
Yet for now, their fierce hold to security will remain undisturbed. Let the winter deal the blow.
As I am not in or of them, I cannot cast the first stone.
Still I think I know what it is like to be hanging there waiting.
Anger is as a stone cast into a wasp’s nest. ~Pope Paul VI