Writing poems and avoiding wasps on the porch

Johnny Bender is past board president of Inlandia Institute, a longtime poet and retired journalist. Photographed on Mar. 07, 2012. (File photo by Michael Leone, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG) By Johnny Bender | Contributing writer When I write poems or stories, I like to sit alone on the front porch in the cool morning, drinking coffee and thinking without distraction. I write better when the temperatures are below 80 degrees, and the morning light softens and beautifies the Box Springs Mountains near my house in Moreno Valley. It's as though I'm part of a panoramic desert movie scene. Recently, though, I was not pleased to discover a small nest of wasps attached to my patio eaves. I was even less pleased when two wasps flew over to check out what I was doing. Should I get rid of them, or they leave me alone if I ignored them? And if I did try to remove nest, would they swarm and sting? I looked up photos online and think they're European Paper Wasps – graceful insects with thin waists. They're described as social beings that prefer to leave people alone unless threatened. Good. I didn't have to do anything. I could get back to coffee and thinking! Except for their thin waists, these wasps seem just like most poets and I know. I'd describe most of them as semi-social. They work alone, but their goal is to share their creations with readers and listeners. Most love going to poetry […]

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