Sunday, July 31, 2016

ode to a beeswax turtle

Yes, there are many things one can do with beeswax, and many of those things are over there in the links at the bottom of The Beeswax Page. Others just keep popping up, out of people’s mouths, at the farmers market, like using beeswax to plug the holes in your boat or to wax the floors in your doll house, uses which may be mere extrapolations of your more general uses, but there was something else, something different, now I forget, but the latest thing I’ve done with beeswax is (to try) to make poetry out of it.
Ode to a Beeswax Turtle
(at the downtown marquette farmers market)

One of the oddest things
is the beeswax turtle
several in a bowl—
an old wood salad bowl her mother had,
from a set of six or eight—
and—What is it? people ask.
A beeswax turtle, I say.
What would you do with it?

Ah. Now there’s a question.
What would you do with a beeswax turtle?
(But first—how does it sound?
Which word is emphatic? Is it:
What would you do
What would you do …
      [ - consternation - ]
… with a beeswax turtle?
A beeswax turtle?!)

So set the turtle free.

It may just float away.

Beeswax, as a rule,


But, seriously, folks:
Put the turtle in your
sewing basket,
your tool box,
your kit;
hide it among your fisherman’s junk,
tuck it in your hunter’s shed,
give it to your taxidermist.
(See them sweet eyes?
Beeswax holds that gaze.)
Or put it in your lip balm,
your skin cream,
your polish;
your didgeridoo likes it too
(say it: didgeridoo);
You can seal it with your beeswax;
Zip it with your beeswax;
Bake it with your beeswax;
Melt the beeswax turtle in your melter
(he’s barely two inches round,
just a solid bit of wax with
a head four tiny feet a tail)
or keep it in your pocket
A beeswax turtle smells so sweet.
Take a whiff. I always say—
sniffin’s free.

But the turtle ain't.
Buy the turtle, please.
He’s only 50¢, half a dollar, two quarters, five dimes:
          have you got that?
and treasure him, forget him,
put him on your windowsill or
on the rim of your bathtub—
he floats!—
did I mention that?
but watch out—
your dog may eat him
your child may bite his head off
be surprised
because it’s not cheese
it’s not a cookie
(and nope, it’s not soap, no rope
to hang with just words)
but that’s OK
everyone’s OK
except for that
chewed up
messed up
floatin’ away
beeswax turtle.

So come on back. Get yourself


Because what would you do without
—a beeswax turtle?

Meanwhile, Josie’s on border patrol.

Look out! He’s heading for the shadows!

And something’s commanding his attention in the wood shed / garage. Probably chipmunks. Probably the same thing keeping Elliott out all night, sleeping all day, preferably in the lilies, well fed.

There’s Elliott.

And those turtles, well, after poetry like that, they’re making a run for it.

Out of the dark, into the light.

Goodbye, July. Hello, August. Did you know daylight Thursday was exactly 15 hours long? 6:30 to 9:30. Crazy hours.

“Ode to a Beeswax Turtle (at the downtown marquette farmers market)” is now available as the first-ever beeswax-rag-flag-covered chapbook-ette.