Friday, May 24, 2019

Short Notes on the Life of Bees

It was 'International Bee Day' on Wednesday and I meant to post a poem on the topic, given how preoccupied my first collection In the Library of Lost Objects was with these delightful creatures. One poem I wrote that didn't make it into that collection in the end, is the following series of small reflections on nature's invaluable pollinators. So, a little after the fact here is my poem to them. May they continue to thrive, though we know they are under threat more so than ever before...

            Short Notes on the Life of Bees

            Deaf from birth:
             the sound they make,
            a trembling in the air
            that only they can feel.


            The red folds of the poppy,
            the blue-black colour of Gentian
            in their fields.


            Pollen-basket on their legs:
            the browns, ochres, reds and greens,
            an inventory
of where they’ve been.

            they speak by dancing,
            like microbes
            on the tip of a needle.


            They wear their armour
            on their skin,
            the way we sometimes do.

            A bead of rain
            can bring them
tumbling from the sky
and down into our world.


            They only see us when we move.
            Be still. They will pass.

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