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.