a yellow jacket miner emerges
(A haiga in the inaugural issue of Bleached Butterfly Magazine)
-Wold Track by Dave Green
Bumble Bee Summer
The alder-buckthorn tree is singing
with the sound
of working bees;
I watch their plump black trundle
among the leaves.
The carder and the meadow bee
up the monkshood’s deep blue sleeves
The carpenter and garden bees,
the masonry, the solitary,
probe the hoods of lamium.
and the buff-tailed bees
cling to the saucer face of dark geranium.
Long hot summer, good summer,
the industry of bumble bees.
The Brooding Queen
I was a single, simple, yellow, cell,
who grew a grubbing appetite for gold,
an appetite they fed, fed, fed
until it made me large and strange,
and sealed me from my sisters
while I dreamed of change.
I was a naked sleeper in a changing room,
who dreamed of fur and woke enrobed.
I ate, ate, ate until I burst
the white walls of my prison cell
and dared one flight in air before
returning to my jailers and their citadel,
my sisters and our white and yellow womb.
(First published in my pamphlet, ‘Speaking parts’, Half Moon Books)
No snow. White heat
as blossom beckons:
lilac fingers, rowan palms,
May’s mouths now
summoning my tongue.
-both by Linda Goulden
I always thought you honest,
your focus on integrity.
After all, didn’t Manchester choose you
to symbolise their ethic of hard work?
Didn’t you become an emblem of the city
as a hive of activity and industry?
How strange then to watch you
moving between the vivid blooms
of aquilegia, like a pickpocket
through a crowd of sight-seers,
your hungry proboscis probing
the ornate sacs of nectar
without the courtesy of pollination.
-Both by Neal Zetter
Bees in Winter Ivy
At the shank of the year,
when the gloaming kicks in at four o’clock,
globes of fat rain plother
on hairy footed bumblebees
clustering, weary under shiny green,
smothering a dusky-pink brick wall.
No clover, dandelion, foxglove,
no drinking cup of nectar,
no hope of a crowned Dionysus,
but there’s one human hand,
offering a sugar snack in a bottle cap,
Bigger wing beat gusts me from sweet pollen
billows, I must stick to its surface amid
buffet and blast. Now heavier, taken,
away from scented trail back home I skid.
Track my trail through vibration pulses, map
I will dance when home is reached to tell all
where sweet pollen will be found, waggle tap
the route after unloading my food haul.
As light fades our head sensors flop, my legs
wrap around others, I rehearse my days
forage, retrace my flight, my complex steps
mark vibration changes that radiate.
Bright warmth lifts our heads from sleep to again,
find our memory way, avoid harsh rain.
-Paul Brookes (from The Insect Sonnets)
Bios and Links
pamphlet ‘The Heart of the Run’, 2018 is published by Picaroon Poetry and her full collection ‘A West Coast Psalter’, Kelsay Books, is available now. In 2020 she was awarded a place in the Poetry Archive’s WordView permanent collection. She reviews poetry pamphlets at https://sphinxreview.co.uk (Happenstance Press) . Twitter:@Bonniedreamer
lives and works in Sheffield. For 30 years he worked in education with vulnerable and neurodiverse children before belatedly discovering that recent governments may not be prioritizing the marginalized in society. Now he trains people in positive mental health and how to recover from the pandemic. He writes poems, paints, chops logs, cycles everywhere and shops local.