A bee joined me for breakfast a couple of days ago. It buzzed around my plate and cup perching, cheekily, among the crumbs of my peanut butter and honey toast and sipping drops of tea.
Inside, the news was on the radio— all those details about Covid -19. Outside, the bee buzzed merrily— ignoring me and my book. I waited for it to fly off but it didn’t want to leave. It flitted from cup to plate to spoon and I found myself smiling at this unlikely breakfast companion.
Somewhere in the background, grave voices discussed the impact of the virus. I sat in autumn sunshine – listening to the hum of this tiny creature – and licking the last sticky sweetness of honey from my fingers.
© Anita Patel, 2020
Published by anitapatel
Anita Patel is a writer (and retired teacher) who has lived in Canberra since 1982. She is as Australian as a banana paddle pop and a pair of sandy thongs and she is also a part of the Asian diaspora. Her collections of poetry are: 'Petals Fall' published by Recent Work Press in 2022 (https://recentworkpress.com/product/petals-fall) and 'A Common Garment' published by Recent Work Press in 2019 (https://recentworkpress.com/product/a-common-garment/).
In 2019 she collaborated with acclaimed artist, Annie Franklin, to produce 'Heart Stitched' (a story (in paintings and poetry) of the quirky, unexpected and dazzling layers in the natural world).
She has had work published in the Canberra Times, in Conversations (Pandanus Press, ANU), in Block 9, Burley Journal, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Demos Journal, Mascara Literary Review, Not Very Quiet Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Backstory Journal, Other Terrain Journal, Pink Cover Zine, FemAsia Magazine, Plumwood Mountain Journal and Eucalypt: a tanka journal, The Australian Poetry Anthology (Vol. 8 2020) and Print Issue 42 of The Blue Nib Journal. Her children’s poems are included in an anthology Pardon My Garden published by Harper Collins. Her poem “Women’s Talk” won the ACT Writers Centre Poetry Prize in 2004 and her poetry was selected for and published in Australian Book Review’s States of Poetry ACT, 2018.
She has performed her work at the Canberra Multicultural Festival, Poetry on the Move Festival, Noted Festival, Floriade Fringe Festival, In Other Words Festival (at Lost in Books, Fairfield), the Queensland Poetry Festival, the National Folk Festival, at Smith’s Alternative, at Word in Hand, Glebe and La Mama Poetica.
Her reviews, “Found in Translation”, on the performances of four Japanese women poets and their translators at Poetry on the Move Festival, 2017 and “No More Silent Waiting”, on the anthology Autonomy edited by Kathy D’Arcy (2018) have been published by Not Very Quiet Journal. She was the guest editor for Issue 2 of Not Very Quiet Journal. View all posts by anitapatel