The Funeral of the Bees

The Funeral of the Bees


In tiny caves under the eaves

dark bees mass in a dense cotillion

head to head in mathematical degrees

Euclid’s children angle

and pose in a primal strut.


Here they entertain the ruler of their kingdom

here they lay the gold of their labours

here they seize power for their queen

here they stuff their ears with wax

sleep in hexagons and sticky cells.


Confronted by the swarm,

I throw cinnamon and garlicky water

vinegar and powdered cloves

on their coruscating buzzcock wings

to push them to the fringes of my yellow baking land.


Still they lay claim to my house

to jazz their diurnal dance by my front door

they return day after day until

fear and impatience makes me spray a napalm

that drops them where they jive.


At noon around the blackened bodies

a party of pallbearers hum

a vast primordial requiem

and with this I am stung by battlers

dying quietly for their great dark queen.


Derrinallum 01/2018


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