-Amy Shelton. She has a collaboration with poet John Burnside called Melissographia as well as a new body of work in progress with him too – Bee Myths. There is a recording of John Burnside reading Melissographia here. http://amyshelton.co.uk/melissographia/
There are a few signed limited edition hand made Melissographia books available on her website.
– `ees by Neal Zetter
I’m A Bee by Neal Zetter
The Day I Became a Royalist.
The memory of that day’s still sweet,
the way the sun filtered through hedges
beginning to explode
with blooms of hawthorn and chestnut;
the coconut trace that floated up
from yellow bubbled whin;
the excited buzz from her fans,
humming as I set to work.
Deaf as beetles they were,
yet they danced their tales
while their friends watched
and felt the vibrations.
I longed to dance too,
but my rebel feet refused.
I looked the part.
In fact, I was smoking,
with all the right gear to meet a Queen.
No high fashion, fascinators,
stilettos or frocks,
demure — in loose white,
a veil over my face,
The roar arose from the crowd.
Herself was close.
Royal guards drew lances,
made charges as if to say, ‘Your kind’s not welcome here’.
I worked on — ignored the line,
like my Father before,
when I was a child.
When her Highness appeared in my frame of view,
maybe it was the alien look of her dress,
poured out in layers like dark chocolate,
or maybe it was her long legs,
that could do with a rub of the razor,
that made her look huge.
She walked that confident walk
of a girl at the top.
Her retinue fussed, had respect.
While her signature scent was strong,
they remained happy, loyal
My senses captured it all
in a way no camera could;
that joy as I watched them dance and hum,
the chinook noise from drones,
the scent of our land collected, condensed,
mind-stamped into my memory cells,
that brought me home to childhood days
when my brother and I dug sections of gold
on our Fathers return.
The memory’s still sweet of that day
when I turned,
on meeting the Queen
of Apis Mellifera Mellifera
my black honey bees.
-©Trish Bennett ( Highly Commended, The Bailieborough Poetry Competition, 2018.
The Leitrim Guardian, 2019, Editor: Bláithín Gallagher.
Poethead 2019, Editor: Chris Murray)
God Bless the Bees
cocooned in Leitrim,
takes out her frustration
on wandering roses
and other wayward strays,
they can travel freely
in the empire of her garden.
She’s terrified of bees
or she’d have
the secateurs gripped
in her arthritic hand
while she hoists
her cobalt knee
onto a wobbly stool
to stand and butcher
-©Trish Bennett(Previously Published
pendemic.ie, Online Pandemic Journal, 2020, Editors: Joy Redmund, Ruth McKee, Niall McArdle,
and Liz Quirke.)
Sing me a bumblebee
brass-banded and bilious,
pollen-plucked and tucked
in his little tucker bags.
Lend me a feather
from a bold herring gull
to paint me a dream
as sea-green and incorruptible
as the jolly fish-boned sky.
Waiting for Bees
Crocus fingers snow-tatters.
Sun coaxes purple, orange.
Cups brim, succulent saffron
offered to the sky.
Winter’s breath reminisces
Flowers pack their cups,
Day after night after
day they set their table, cloth ragged, main course
They wait for bees
who never come.
Wilt, heartbreak-fists’ curl
swallowed by Earth’s dry
As Summer Falls Away
Rains fell in sheets, water rose
ankle high. Long slow gray day, a day
for curling with cat and book in bed.
Then, the wind.
White skies’ blue
brightness blinds, wind pushes
powder-heavy banks; ragweed, goldenrod,
sedge grasses, heads nod, bow, capes swing
back, a flourish. Last bees not warmed
enough to harvest.
Iron-weed lace, a paradox,
echoes deeper purple. Asters open
royal lashes, gaze a final time
Next, the leaves.
Cut eyeholes in an old bucket.
Stuck an old welder’s visor
on the eyeholes. Stuffed and taped
an ancient towel under the rim.
Got my mate to tape welder’s gloves
to my thick jacket and my wellingtons
to jogging bottoms. Put bucket on my head.
Mate stuck it to my jacket. I struggled
through the small hole. Cost a packet for radiation
suited cocker to remove hive from out of our roof.
I’m sure all bees are gone. Couldn’t hear them.
Couldn’t bloody breathe, my visor misted up.
The thing I fear is the silence:
when the buzzing stops
because there are no more bees –
the belly hum buzz
that dances from nectar to nectar
the silence that falls
when the sun goes down
and the birds quieten
a reminder that there could be
a world without a blackbird
calling tumbling notes
from a sleek throat,
gently reminding rook
that they are friends,
without skylark promising
and the silence of sea water
holding death afloat
silver belly turned
towards a yellow sky
and the silence of a forest
where every tree
is just a dream.
– Sarah Connor
Being requires exploration. By flowering, we heal.
She’d clattered up the stairs, along the corridor, and into his lab, clutching a black linen bag to her chest. She’d begged him for help. He still wasn’t sure.
“You realise it’s a particle/wave ionisation device? It will move you in time, or space, but it’s not perfected yet. You could end up anywhere. Any-when”.
They could both hear the footsteps in the distance, coming closer.
“There’s no other way. Please -” she begged him – “Do it”.
And he flicked the switch.
When the guards arrived, he was alone, tapping away quietly on his keyboard. They ripped the lab apart, but there was nothing to find.
Twenty-seven years later, he still thought about her from time to time – wondered if he’d done the right thing, why she was so desperate, where she’d ended up. Somehow it wasn’t surprising that, as he tidied up his desk, just after 6pm on Friday 17th June, she appeared in corner of the lab. She looked dazed, walked over to him and touched his cheek gently.
“You got old” she whispered. He nodded, silent.
She opened the bag, then, and showed him something he had thought he’d never see again. Bees. A roiling, buzzing mass of them. He turned to look out of the window, at the grove of almond trees, that had blossomed but not fruited for the last seven years.
When he turned back, she saw that he was crying.