William Shakespeare - Where the bee sucks
Where the bee sucks, there suck I;
In a cowslip's bell I lie;
There I couch when owls do cry.
On the bat's back I do fly
After summer merrily.
Merrily, merrily shall I live now
Under the blossom that hangs on the bough.
Who are these people at the bridge to meet me? They are the villagers----
The rector, the midwife, the sexton, the agent for bees.
In my sleeveless summery dress I have no protection,
And they are all gloved and covered, why did nobody tell me?
They are smiling and taking out veils tacked to ancient hats.
I am nude as a chicken neck, does nobody love me?
Yes, here is the secretary of bees with her white shop smock,
Buttoning the cuffs at my wrists and the slit from my neck to my knees.
Now I am milkweed silk, the bees will not notice.
They will not smell my fear, my fear, my fear.
Which is the rector now, is it that man in black?
Which is the midwife, is that her blue coat?
Everybody is nodding a square black head, they are knights in visors,
Breastplates of cheesecloth knotted under the armpits.
Their smiles and their voices are changing. I am led through a beanfield.
Strips of tinfoil winking like people,
Feather dusters fanning their hands in a sea of bean flowers,
Creamy bean flowers with black eyes and leaves like bored hearts.
Is it blood clots the tendrils are dragging up that string?
No, no, it is scarlet flowers that will one day be edible.
Now they are giving me a fashionable white straw Italian hat
And a black veil that molds to my face, they are making me one of them.
They are leading me to the shorn grove, the circle of hives.
Is it the hawthorn that smells so sick?
The barren body of hawthon, etherizing its children.
Is it some operation that is taking place?
It is the surgeon my neighbors are waiting for,
This apparition in a green helmet,
Shining gloves and white suit.
Is it the butcher, the grocer, the postman, someone I know?
I cannot run, I am rooted, and the gorse hurts me
With its yellow purses, its spiky armory.
I could not run without having to run forever.
The white hive is snug as a virgin,
Sealing off her brood cells, her honey, and quietly humming.
Smoke rolls and scarves in the grove.
The mind of the hive thinks this is the end of everything.
Here they come, the outriders, on their hysterical elastics.
If I stand very still, they will think I am cow-parsley,
A gullible head untouched by their animosity,
Not even nodding, a personage in a hedgerow.
The villagers open the chambers, they are hunting the queen.
Is she hiding, is she eating honey? She is very clever.
She is old, old, old, she must live another year, and she knows it.
While in their fingerjoint cells the new virgins
Dream of a duel they will win inevitably,
A curtain of wax dividing them from the bride flight,
The upflight of the murderess into a heaven that loves her.
The villagers are moving the virgins, there will be no killing.
The old queen does not show herself, is she so ungrateful?
I am exhausted, I am exhausted ----
Pillar of white in a blackout of knives.
I am the magician's girl who does not flinch.
The villagers are untying their disguises, they are shaking hands.
Whose is that long white box in the grove, what have they accomplished, why am I cold.
Once there was
a little man
Who hummed a little song
To all his little empolyees
Who also hummed along.
And since he was a single man,
And had no real company,
He grew his own crops, and ate his own bread,
To his workers' cacaphony.
Now this small man owned only 2 suits,
One for work, and one for everyday.
The former was used to visit his workers' families,
The latter used for cutting the hay.
Some people found him kind of mad.
Who would choose to visit his employees?
But that little man recieved gifts for coming,
That's why they called them 'honey bees.'
And since that man had his zillions of employbees,
And took care of them all through the winter,
His neighbours got together and gave him a name.
That's why he's called the Beekeeper!
A bee came
flying by one day.
It stung me on my back.
I ran and ran to get away,
Then gave the bee a whack!
The flower cried and so did I.
I felt a little bad.
The sting went away as time went by,
But the flower still remains sad.
the last bee died,
nobody noticed. Nobody put on black
or made a dirge for the death
of honey. Nobody wrote an elegy
to apricots, no one mourned for cherries.
When the last bee died,
everyone was busy. They had things to do,
drove straight to work each morning,
straight back home each night. The roads
all seriously hummed. Besides,
the pantries were still packed
with cans of fruit cocktail in heavy srup,
deep deep freezers full
of concentrated grape and orange juice,
stores stocked with artificial flavoring.
When the last bee died, nobody saw
the poppies winking out, nobody cried
for burdock, yarrow, wild delphinium.
Now and again a child would ask for
dandelions, quickly shushed: That pest!
And everyone is fine. The children healthy,
radish-cheeked. They play she love me/not
with Savoy cabbage leaves, enjoy the telling
of the great myths, peach and peony.
the springtime, joyous spring-
When the birds begin to sing,
And we hear the murmuring brook-
Then the bees are on the wing.
When the long, cold days are over
Bees are out to sip the dew
And the nectar from the clover,
Buttercups and daisies blue.
Supers placed above the beehive
For the honey bee to find,
Will be filled if showers are given
To the flowers of every kind.
Then the bees are kind and gentle
"Take it hog," they seem to say;
"We will work again the harder
After the next rainy day.
"And we'll fill again the super,
We don't mind with you to share,
Early morn will find us busy
Gathering honey everywhere.
We just gladly gather honey,
And the wax from off our back
We produce, now is'nt it funny,
No material do we lack.
"For our queen cells we have polen,
Any egg a queen may be,
From the proper food and cover,
We produce a queen, you see.
If some drones we wish for mating,
Other food we must supply,
Just the food we give while waiting
For their hatching by and by."
"But when frost on field and hillside,
In the autumn kills the flower,
And in vain we search for honey,
In each glen and leafy bower,
Then in every hive is stationed
Guards to watch our winter's store,
For if you would rudely take it,
We would search in vain for more.
"And we sting with all our fury,
Take our honey if you dare,
For we want to keep from starving
In the winter, so beware."
There's a moral we may gather
From the busy bee for all,
Gather food stuff in the summer,
And protect it in the fall.
No one believes in apples any more.
"Busy as a bee."
"What is good for the swarm is not good for the bee."
"Where there is honey, there are bees."
"One bee is better than a handful of flies."
"Honey turns sour."
"The diligence of the hive produces the wealth of honey."
"A drop of honey will not sweeten the ocean."
"If you want to gather honey, don't kick over the beehive."
of the peony.