I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

10 April 2017

They Mourn the Bees

(a lament in three voices)

The bees are absent,
their gold faces gone
out of my garden
all this last summer – 
more sinister now 
than the relentless hum
of their presence.

O tigerish and burning bright,
the bees that danced in flower-sight
leave our gardens dull and bleak
where once they played sweet hide-and-seek.

I'm scared of bees –
stood on one with my bare foot
at four; still recall
that sharp, hot pain. But now 
not seeing them at all
I am more afraid.

Picture: Public Domain

For Day 9 of April Poetry Month, Magaly at 'imaginary garden with real toads' asks us to Twitter Me a Gothic Poem, i.e. to create one 3-stanza poem with a touch of Gothic, made up of a twitter conversation by two famous poets (in their styles) and oneself. These are, in order: @sylviaplath, @williamblake, and @snakypoet (my actual twitter handle). I didn't think this really worked as one poem – Blake's voice too different – so cheated a bit with both title and subtitle, to try and make it right. But I do get some things right – each tweet above is exactly 140 characters.

PS Do, do, do follow the link above to read the wonderful things everyone else is producing!


  1. "stood on one with my bare foot
    at four" ... Ouch! That must have hurt so badly! When I was little, probably not much older than that, a whole nest attacked me, stinging me all over my body. I've never been afraid since. I know they've done their worst to me and I won. Since then, bees don't sting me; they just crawl on me. I love them. They make me very happy. And even when they seem like they're not there, I'm 100% positive they really are. Flowers know ... feel them hovering, even if their buzz is presently inaudible. There's always another season of pollen and rub, just around the corner. :P

    I hope your garden gets hit first, and hard. You big-time deserve that with the gentle way you tend it.


    1. That sounds like a positively magical experience – though I sure don't envy you! Perhaps they have become your totem.

      Oh, my garden died over the fierce summer when I was too sick to tend it at all. I am thinking of pulling everything out and planting dandelions and clover instead, to draw back the bees.

    2. I LOVE that idea! I didn't know you could plant dandelions. But I'm an idiot when it comes to gardening. I always wanted someone like you to teach me everything, but no one ever did. I don't know the first thing ... other than how to buy pretty gloves. :)

    3. I hope you write a poem about that ... dandelions and clovers. That is definitely one of my happy places from childhood --- lying in a field of clover across the street from my parents' house.

    4. Well, I plan to transplant them from my lawn next Spring. But hey, you have the wrong impression of me – I am a rotten gardener. I know to water things, and occasionally prune and weed, that's about all. And I eventually realised that gloves would stop me getting cuts and prickles. I try to grow things which are hardy and like this climate; but people will keep giving me presents of lovely pot-plants, which eventually I kill without meaning to! (But first I take photos, while they are still alive and well.) I just enjoy my garden when it is blooming, that's all. My garden poems are celebratory, but they don't describe any actual work! At present, after the heavy rains, cat and I are staying well indoors away from the mosquitos.

  2. Oh yes, the two other poets are well echoed, and I think the three stanzas do work well as a unity, as you have indicated in the subtitle how the reader may read.

    1. Come to think of it, 'three voices' is quite Plathian too.

  3. Oh, Rosemary. You had me at your title and parens...and then took my breath away with the whole shebang. Just too gorgeous.

  4. This is wonderful. You captured their voices to perfection, then added your own wise, wonderful one. Loved this.

  5. I too miss the bees, Rosemary. But not nearly as much as the lemon and the lime trees. They must be hurting. You did well, if there was a 'jot and tittle' added it sure got by my bumbling knowledge.

  6. This is great and flows as one. Great poem! I am a new follower. Have a wonderful week! Rasz

  7. we humans have fuzz for brains by forgetting the buzz is at the center of how we eat ~

  8. I adore the contrast between the voices, especially between your stanza and Blake's. It makes me think of how people can care so deeply about the same thing, even when they are very different.

  9. LOVE! From every angle. Bravo bees and the dandelions and clover that may help increase their number.

  10. This is absolutely stupendous!!❤️ Especially love; "O tigerish and burning bright,the bees that danced in flower-sight leave our gardens dull and bleak where once they played sweet hide-and-seek."❤️

  11. In California, we are having our problems. (Colonies are disappearing) From what I hear this may be more than losing bees.

  12. There is so much playfulness in the word choices and imagery, but that message is stone cold serious. You've balanced both elements well.