Rooftop Rhetoric

Sitting on the roof
As my time on the Aegean wings to a close, I’m enjoying some roof-top writing, watching the sun set behind black pines -not Pinus nigra, but the irregular, unstately Pinus brutia– “their fretted summits tipped with cones“. Writing in unusual places could certainly become a divertissement, if not a competitive sport. I wonder what cognitively poetic effects sitting on the edge has on one’s writing; perhaps the thrill of almost losing your pen or your perch translates into a teetering, titillating suspense on the page, for instance? Perhaps being high above the houses leads to loftier thoughts?

Sometimes...The other day, as I contemplated these and other useless theories, I suddenly found myself engulfed in a collective buzz and threw myself indoors, making a beeline in inelegant haste. When I looked back, I saw the tail-end of a swarm of bees undulate once over the terracotta and disappear into the woods. A swarm in july is not worth a fly, so the saying goes.

Summer WritingDespite their crooked silhouettes, the pines conspire (with aphids) to secrete a delicious honeydew, which is transmuted into pine honey by Apis mellifera and sold at roadside stalls by apiarists. There are not enough flowers in this area (except for the ever beautiful, poisonous oleander) for the light, amber flower honey, but one beekeeper I talked to today told me that he takes his skeps to Mount Ida in spring so that his bees can feast on chestnut blossom and produce rich, dark, chestnut honey. Can consuming honey make one honey-tongued (mellifluous)? I feel it is worth a try. Until I return to blighty & pine…

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