| General Poetry
posted March 12, 2017
A story poem in ballad measure
The bees had made this house their own
to labour for their queen
and, finding hollows in the walls,
chewed wax to fill between.
They found their entrance through the roof,
a keyhole made by chance,
where glory vine had twisted tin,
and thus began their dance.
In droves they flew to garden blooms
along the plume of scent,
to lavender and borage plants
upon their business bent,
then staggered back, with pollen sacs
a low-slung heavy load
to slow the homeward journey to
their derelict abode,
whose dusty windows filtered light
on mildew and on mould,
a gutterless, decrepit place,
this house that had grown old.
And here they built a miracle,
a harmony of fellowship
a testament to peace.
What labour! What hexagonies!
What citadels they made!
Each precious cup of honeyed gold
cooled by their winged glissade.
They little knew of man's intent
to resurrect this place
to store his worthless chattels in,
the stuff that spoiled his space.
"Is this your work?" the Maker said,
the Maker of the Bee,
"and were you netted with intent,
you whom I made trustee?
"I see your powder, deadly white,
and corpses by the score
in this, the doleful charnel house,
decaying on the floor.
"A few still crawl the windowpane;
I hear their mournful drone.
The deep morass of death still writhes
with those whose dance is done.
"And why, I pray? Was it for fear
that they might sting your pride,
enclosing them in toxic space -
I could not look Him in the eye.
I hung my head in shame.
A miniature decision made,
for which I take the blame.
It's just in scale this differs from
the horrors we create
when nations make their fearful choice.
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Alas, the local beekeeper who keeps hives on our farm, could not save this swarm.
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