B. R. Dionysius

(1969 - / Queensland / Australia)

Stung - Poem by B. R. Dionysius

Now I am milkweed silk, the bees will not notice.
They will not smell my fear, my fear, my fear.

Sylvia Plath, “The Bee Meeting”


When he was a young man
& the flower of his mind
opened wide as a birth canal,
a single bumblebee, pregnant
with pollen landed a quick
kiss on his cheek, laced
with a fine golden down
sticky as honey.

When he was a bit older
a second bumblebee descended
onto the stem of his thorn
sharp nose, locked feelers
with the first bee & began
an elegant waltz. His legs
moved like an insect's.

When he was older still
a third bumblebee alighted
on his forehead, crawled down
the cleft of his eye & joined
its two brethren, pirouetting
along his jaw-line.

When he was older still again
a flotilla of bees covered
his chin like a living veil.
Their wings interlocked;
a phalanx of shields
protecting him from the wasps
that fled their nests of mud
& were out to get him.

When he was in his prime
a honeybee, blown far off course
set down on the hive of his heart.
She never flew away. Just gave
order to the bees that streamed
down his throat like a black
& yellow waterfall.

When he was an old man,
a thick beard of drones
hung down to his knees.
He tucked them into the
belt serpenting his waist,
constricting time into nectar.
Not a single bee ever stung him.

When eventually he died
a hundred thousand bees danced
alongside the funeral procession.
All the way to the gravesite, where
they flung themselves like dervishes
in after his Baltic amber coffin.

When he was honeycombed with mud
tiny pairs of frosted glass wings
littered the grave's edge. When dusk
fell they twinkled like mirrored
wall-tiles, illuminating
the blood red roses that died
with the light of the day.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 28, 2012



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