Now that the birch closest to the porch is bare, I notice a large hornets’ nest: a ghost town, a wino’s abandoned bottle in a paper sack.


  1. Tis a sad and empty season, without the buzz. Should we expect a Hornets Homebrew?

    1. Only if I can figure out how to steal nectar from them next summer. Somehow I don’t think they cooperate.


    The last ghost town was the one I left
    when I grew up—strange requirement
    to abscond when one is no longer needed,

    like that bare birch tree, shorn of its foliage,
    is no longer the sanctuary for that dottard
    who left his empty rum bottle under the tree.

    Cheek-by-jowl with the porch, it was the Ritz
    with free coffee or tea doled out by a host
    who talked funny with his metaphors: Hornets.

    They, too, create ghost towns of hives on trees.
    No point staying when leafless trees no longer
    need them, no flowers to touch, no bees to kill.

    I have outlived my usefulness, haven’t I? I asked.
    She said: Verily. How else respond to this curt
    snort, when all I really had or have is only a pack —

    not even of beer, not even cheer, not even care?
    Zero. End of the line. Really, all I had was a pack
    of wornout metaphors, lost love, lost coin wallet.

    and a wayward heart too needy to want to betray
    its anguish, its plea, to come home soon where
    there is nothing but a ghost house in a ghost town.

    — Albert B. Casuga

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