The Queen's House
2010 by Ellin Anderson

 
 

THE BEE-SWARM

Ellin Anderson


We formed a posse,
We manned a crew;
I went with Robbie,
I ran with Drew,
To see the red
Infernal bee
Swarm on the dead
Acacia tree:
Conspiracy
To make our home
His golden-dripping honey-comb.

We stalked our haughty
Buzzing foes
With walkie-talkie
Radios,
And candy bars,
And Bacterine,
And jelly jars
To trap their Queen,
For fear that she
Will make our home
Her golden-dripping honey-comb.

We crossed the war zone,
Lawn by lawn.
The birds had flown,
The sun had gone;
And then a hum
Burnt up the sky —
The bees had come
To rule or die:
Some bloody dawn
May find our home
Their golden-dripping honey-comb.

The white wax drapes
The honey-tree
In evil shapes
No child should see.
They have no God,
They have no Queen;
King Arthropod    
Vaunts an obscene
Conspiracy
To make our home
His golden-dripping honey-comb.

We are the damned:
A draw for flies.
The bees are jammed
In Robbie's eyes.
They took Drew's head
And guts away
To make a sweetbread
Bombe glacée,
They think it's play
To make our home
Their golden-dripping honey-comb.

Call John Kennedy!  
Call John Glenn!
Call all manner of bold brave men!
Because the bee
Has made our home
His golden-dripping honey-comb.


THE HONEY-MAN

Ellin Anderson


In an era now primeval,
On the Isle of the Discrete,
Where every good was lethal,
And every ill was sweet,

Where all the tired hippies ran
To die, or go to ground,
We gave the regal Honeyman
A silver hunting-hound.

She was as rare as cannabis,
And if the truth be told,
The hound called Silver Artemis
Was worth her weight in gold.

Two pheasants bearing tones of brass
Through fields of plumy vetch
Were garnished under ruby glass
To flaunt what she could fetch,

And ringed with fruits of marzipan,
And left beside our door,
But for his sport, the Honeyman
Contrived to give us more.

One velvet night in honey-time
Beneath the summer moon,
When river-meadows knew the chime
Of the enamored loon,

And all were thrilling to the laugh
That pledged a deeper dive,
He left us cruet and carafe
Of ichor from the hive.

On every calm or breezy night
Until the nights grew chill,
He crept along by window-light
To leave upon the sill

Bright honey-gold, whose aureate hue
Could sate a miser's greed:
The wealth of gentians, shy and blue,
That grace the runny mead.

Bread cast on water from afar
Is marvelous to see.
But then one day, there came a jar
That held a larval bee.

His nurture made him drown and die;
It made him writhe and flail:
This pilgrim built for waves of sky
That he would never sail.

And so, confronted by the wrack
Of phantom-colored elf,
I painted all my windows black,
And shrank inside myself.

Where even one shall gasp for breath,
Sweet kindliness becomes
The reciprocity of death:
A feast of mold and crumbs.


DID SHE CURSE THE BEES?

Ellin Anderson


And did she from that distance cast an eye
Of malice at the fast-collapsing hive,
Through airless cell where she was borne to die
For every hapless poet left alive?

And will no other clamor yet arise
To offer one new throat to Destiny
Within the empty Garden of Disguise
Where sits the throne of Judge and Delphic Bee?

An orchard stands beyond the fatal reach
Of ill-sown salt that will preserve and damn,
Where honeybees confer about the peach
In blossom blur, to hum the words, "I am,"

And share their store of busyness to show
That if she cursed the bees, the bees don't know.

   

2010 by Ellin Anderson. All rights reserved. No part of  this work may be copied or used in any way without written  permission from the author.

 

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Ellin Anderson's Biography

 

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