Friday, June 15, 2012

The Absence Of The Bee

The Absence of the Bee
A Triversen

The bees have gone away;
the heavy absence of their humming
matches the blossoms' wither.

On shrinking stems
flowers petal-fall closed parasols
and pink petticoats peel away.

Black beetles are blind
to orange-anthered hats,
preferring unseemly chewing.

The attention deficits
of waggish bustling wasps
and dizzy moths puzzle pollination.

The tickling of an occasional ant
wandering from his pheromone trail
can't trump a bee's tumble.

The silence of life
without bees
is intense.

June 2012

Posted for   FormForAll   at dVerse Poets Pub
Prompt: Triversen
For a complete and proper explanation of this simple and eloquent form, see the article Gay Cannon has written for this prompt at the pub, and catch some poetry by Wallace Stevens at the same time.Win-win situation.

Process notes: The metaphor used in this poem is that of Colony Collapse Disorder, a term applied to the mysterious disappearance of worker honey bees which disrupts agricultural crop pollination and causes bee colonies to fail. We are experiencing a high incidence of this throughout the United States right now. No one is quite sure why, but disease, parasites and genetically engineered crops containing pesticide seem to be the dominant factors.

Image: Photo manipulation of the herb borage,  a bee attractant.
© joy ann jones 2012


  1. I've been intensely worried about this syndrome for the last two years. It doesn't seem to bother many other people, but life will not continue without bees. They really do the heavy lifting! So excellent subject.

    As to form, you made it disappear while taking control of all of its elements. It's been a very adaptable form. Nearly everyone has been able to use it with ease and make their subjects "come alive" with it. Thank you for writing and linking today. Much appreciated.

  2. Got the message, and on the way was enchanted with your sounds' doubling and internally chiming--oh rhyme, alliteration, onomatopoeia are the words I suppose--and Loved the parade of possible replacements, none of which can "trump a bee's tumble."
    Thank you for this use of the form which makes me forget a form was even used.

  3. And stress! You feel so sorry for these bees carted in trucks up and down the country. It just seems terrible.

    But your poem is not. The waggish wasps, the attention deficit of the insect world, the tumble of the bumble - I know you don't say it but I hear it, the sudden silence. Well done. k.

    PS - I'm not even sure you need that comma! Though it works. (ha.)

  4. you've captured the absence. i miss the bees. ~jane

  5. Important topic, well addressed. The impact long term is incalculable.

  6. it is a scary thought...the loss of the bees and what that might mean for us...there are some nice allusions in your other bits of nature as well...smiles...

  7. I had not heard anything about this disorder since last year. The silence is intense.

    I liked reading your poem while picturing you in your garden observing all those critters.

  8. What a shame..we humans are so careless. Love your poem, describe a disaster with beautiful detail.

  9. (Stayed awhile and listened to Jimi..)

  10. This is terrific we always worry about the endangered animals and not about the insects...I read an article not long ago about the decline of bees and the effects it will have on the environment. I was so happy to see one in the hollows of a mangrove last year. It's very sad that we miss the little creatures! Great Write!

  11. When I said one...I meant hive not a bee! :)

  12. It's frightening, Joy! The 'absence' of bees is fatal. Worst, we don't even know where or who the actual culprits are. And apparently 'killer bees' are increasing their turfs and they don't take to pollinating the way the honey bees do! Great verse!


  13. Frightening poem - superb use of alliteration

  14. A lovely poem, but I can't say that I buy into the concept that man's survival depends on the existence of bees. I'm not saying it isn't so--I'm sure someone more intelligent than me figured it out--I just think this planet and it's inhabitants will evolve and survive in spite of, and without the "help" of, man.

    1. OH, I agree--something always fills the biological niche--and we'll all be eating Soylent Green anyway before it's all over anyway, in my opinion--I just miss them--they used to be all over my garden in the summer, making their little happy noise. Very soothing.

  15. This is so lovely, though the silence entraps us in its terrifying possibilities. I love the way that you set the desolation in relief against such natural wonders.

  16. bumblebees, though not as prolific as honeybees, help pollinate, as do some insects and other critters...

    for another pollinator to arrive on the scene, in numbers worth mentioning, to save the crops we need for our survival, most of us, if not all, would be long gone

  17. This is all one could want or imagine. The form is well conceived and cleverly used. The verses profit from it. The first verse is magical in ites effect, and the final stanza really clicks the poem shut. Between these two are stanzas packed with good things. A real delight to read, this.

  18. That last stanza is a powerful one ~ I like the details of the flowers, bees and wasp ~ Tight and strong ~

  19. The silence of life
    without bees
    is intense.

    I love these words ..........which are so true.

  20. It's heartening to see the various varieties of bees in the garden. Now that our municipality has made it illegal to use any pesticides on lawns and such, there's been an improvement. Why do we always have to wait for a disaster to make long over-due and necessary changes?

  21. "black beetles are blind"

    I just like the sound of that. *repeats it robotically*

    Silence can indeed be intense, to the point of disrupting thought, concentration, and mood. One wouldn't think that would be so, but it is, it is.


"We make out of the quarrel with others, rhetoric, out of the quarrel with ourselves, poetry." ~William Butler Yeats

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