#NationalInsectWeek 21st-27th June. Saturday – Ants, Bees and Wasps. Anybody written poems about ants, bees and/or wasps? Artworks/photos welcome too. References to poems/artwork other than your own I will show as links in the post, unless the referenced author welcomes my use of their work. I will add posts throughout today. Here are the prompts for the week: Monday – Beetles, Tuesday – Cockroaches, Wednesday – Flies, Thursday – Mayflies, Friday – Butterflies, Saturday – Ant, Bee and Wasp, Sunday – Dragonflies

Saturday – Ants, Bees and Wasps

insect week

jeff skea bumblebeeCarnival by Lynn Valentinebumblebee by Lynn ValentineBlethers by Lynn Valentine

-All poems by Lynn Valentine.


A tricolored bumblebee, miniature engine,
revs up and slows down arrhythmically.
Alighting, abdomen curving in graceful embrace,
vacillating between sage blossoms,
a quick nuzzling exploration and then on to the next,
an industrious motor powered by fealty and pollen.

Relentless in its amassing, meticulous in its exploration.
I know it can sting, even as it follows royal edict.
I suppose I could wave it away, feigning fear,
annoyance, or an abundance of caution.
But in good conscience, its ancestors have been
on this planet so much longer than mine.

All it seeks to perform is its duty,
done to perfection, trafficking in pollen,
gentle fuzz and glistening wing,
a brief life curtailed by cruel winter.
I envy this orange, yellow and black beauty
Its distilled ability to live in the moment.

-Jeeks Raj

wasp by John Hawkhead

Fuzz bomb

There’s a fuzz bomb in the foxgloves,
there’s a buzz about the leaves;
a bumblebee has fumbled free
to zoom around my knees.

I wouldn’t be so nervous
lying out here on the lawn
if only I’d remembered
to put my trousers on.


I fear the cops
have pressed
the bumblebees
into service –

they’re out in force
wearing uniforms
and hi-vis vests,
knocking on windows

like badly-flown
drones, checking
we’re in lockdown;
hard fuzz battering

off the glass
and zooming away
in hot pursuit
of a sprung bluebell.

-Both poems by Andy MacGregor

wasps nest by Annest Gwylym

-Annest Gwylim (First published in The Projectionist’s Playground)

Sweet Pollen

-Paul Brookes (one of my insect sonnets first published in Fevers of the Mind)

I Forage

I forage, chew wood pulp for my babies
who give me sweetness in return. When
they’re bigger I’ll dismember aphids, fleas
and spiders to take home for them.

My queen who gave birth to me will outlive
me. At night I’m still, or repair fly
babies broken rooms. At warm light give
flight ,and scratch out fibre until I die.

I lay my own babies once, another
found out and ate them. I tend to my queen’s.
As light dims sooner and days get colder
I get slower, stiller, food for the dream.

It’s too easy, a mechanically
universe, reality is messy.

-Paul Brookes

Biogs and Links

Annest Gwilym

Author of two books of poetry: Surfacing (2018) and What the Owl Taught Me (2020), both published by Lapwing Poetry. Annest has been published in many literary journals, both online and in print, and in anthologies. She has been placed in several writing competitions, winning one. She lives on the coast of north west Wales with her rescue dog. Twitter: @AnnestGwilym

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