Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Night Bee

The Night Bee

The night bee flies alone
while the drones doze at home
and few will ever taste
what she brings back to the comb.

Confused by the moon
and the closed rose,
she crawls harlequin walls
where starlight froze
where jasmine twines up
through a sweetness of bones.

The night bee flies alone
while the drones die at home
and few will ever find
what she brings back to the comb
what she keeps in her black throat
stolen from the flower
that closes at dawn.

~August 2016

Optional Musical Accompaniment

posted for    real toads

Caveat: Despite the amazing similarity to Magaly Guerrero's poem for her challenge, I honestly came by these words on my own, as I never read anyone's offerings before I write to a prompt (and in fact, 3 days later I am just now reading hers.) Still, it's a crazy coincidence that our two poems should be almost identical in so many ways. I offered to take mine down, but Magaly has graciously said to leave it, so I do, as an illustration of poetic lightning striking twice.

Image: The Tempest:Ariel and the Bee, illus. by Edmond Dulac
(Colors inverted) Fair Use via


  1. This is so blue and beautiful, Joy. The very notion of a "night bee", confused by her own nature and the moon and closed rose, and yet with her own particular adaptive gift, is original and striking. Few may discover or appreciate the best in her, or the melancholy loveliness that she possesses, but she is no drone--nor Queen, either--but simply her night-flying, unique, heart-breaking self. Only you could have written such a a poem as this.

  2. I love your twist on this prompt. There is something of Wonderland in this poem, but it is part of its darker side.

  3. Her uniqueness and ability to survive in a world that seems to have been made without her needs in mind makes her so precious. While the drones laze around and die, she creates a life for herself, one that belongs to her alone. I really love this!

  4. Absolutely beautiful. Darkly so - but that's what I enjoy the most!

  5. I do love the concept of a night bee... the solitary one, the one who choose, the one surviving when the drones are gone... but oh what does she get from those closed roses...

  6. Drones seem to have multiple meanings here--and they are rather menacing (to me, at least, because of some of those other meanings.) She seems very innocent and terribly hard working in comparison, even when she keeps the night spoils--the rhymes and rhythms are lovely, very nightlike and lullabyish, and there is something rather uncanny and laden with the idea of the throat--at least it again tends to broaden the metaphor for me as I think of bees as not swallowing what they carry--so again it feels like a marker of this dark and fantastical place. Great musical accompaniment too. Thanks. k.

  7. I sensed the price of a unique love. Thank you for this

  8. This is incredible. It sounds like a dark nursery rhyme. Too many wonderful lines to try and quote one.

  9. It's a beautiful ekphrastic poem that, as Fireblossom points out, draws a strikingly original portrait of a fantastic creature (this bee is like a poet of the night, finding its nectar in an almost drunken act of discovery). Also, in its loneliness and disorientation I couldn't help but think of the current plight of bees. I love bees and this is a very lovely poem.

  10. This so reminds me of my favorite piece of music from 'Phantom of the Opera' ~ Music of the Night. Nighttime sharpens, heightens each sensation ~ I love your poem.

  11. Beautifully done and this has happened to me several times. I dont read others' work either before writing, but it seems there is a soupy pond we all dip into and sometimes pull similar thoughts from. Sometimes another poet and I have used the same words even. It happens. Smiles.


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

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