Tuesday Poem: Death of a Bee

Death of a Bee

On the sill,
stumbling towards light
with legs crutched under
and one wing askew.
I place a teaspoon
of supermarket honey.
Open the window.

In the morning,
a crumpled tuft of brown
and gold - one irridescent flake
tilted as if for flight.

My garden trees are bare.
No blossom;  the sun
still in its winter quarter.
All elegy.  I tip the tiny
carcass out onto the grass
a meal for microbes.

In the room, something delicate
has shifted.

© Kathleen Jones

We're having a very late spring here in the north of England - usually daffodils and crocuses would be flowering outside and my magnolia stellata is always in flower at the beginning of March.  This year there's nothing in the garden but a few clumps of snowdrops shivering in a Siberian wind.  Finding dying bees is always distressing - these aren't domestic honey bees, but wild bees, whose plight hasn't had much publicity.  They are dying catastrophically in droves and apparently their role in the pollination of crops and wild plants has been very under-estimated.  This is a world-wide problem and even remote and protected eco-systems, like New Zealand, are being affected.  Climate change is obviously a factor, but chemical interventions in agriculture are also believed to be significant.  I live in an area where pesticides and herbicides are used freely by farmers - their role in the devastation of the wild environment simply can't be ignored.

I know it's been over-quoted, but I can't help thinking of the prophetic speech attributed to Chief Seattle in 1854, about the environmental consequences of western 'civilisation' and its lack of respect for the natural world.

'Where is the thicket?   Gone.
Where is the eagle?  Gone.
The end of living and the beginning of survival.....  All things are connected.'

See Article in Science News.
How Darwin's Humble Bee became the Bumble Bee

The Tuesday Poem is 3 years old this month and to celebrate, participants are constructing a group poem based on rhythmic variations - a kind of jazz poetry!   Take a look over at the Tuesday Poem hub.


  1. A very touching poem, thank you.

    The state of our world climate is frightening. We are having a "false spring" here. After a cool wet second half to Summer a bit of warmth in Autumn is making bulbs and the like leap out of the ground again.


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