“At first they seemed just errant bits of shade,
until the humming grew too loud to be denied
as the bees flew in and out, as if choreographed”
–Eleanor Rand Wilner, “The Girl with Bees in her Hair”
You’ve read the headlines, I’m sure. All the bees
are disappearing from around the United States—
what researchers call Colony Collapse Disorder.
Millions of bees are simply abandoning their hives
as if they’ve stopped taking their MAOI’s,
to discovered they don’t like themselves any more.
Leaving the queen and their developing pupae
the adults leave no trace of themselves as they search
for their lost childhood amid the scattering winds.
Researchers are puzzled. Blaming everything they can
from parasites to pesticides, they blindly offer
this small modicum of well thought out advice:
“Do not combine collapsing colonies with strong colonies.”
“If you feed your bees sugar, incorporate antibiotics.”
“Hide the abandoned hive, as to discourage coming home.”
Most important, if you see honey bees where you
have never seen them, report your sightings
to the proper authorities and try to act normal.
With the disappearance of all the honeybees, experts point
to the decline of the almond crop and global warming,
laying yet another doomsday scenario at our feet.
I believe they have forgotten the music of bees en masse,
that noise of Yeats, the solace of the world like a choir,
harmonizing with all the other beasts, great and small.
I myself will miss their dance, their swarm, men wearing them
for beards. I will not soon forget that imagined masterpiece
of Monet: Tiny specks of light against a canvass of meadow green.
as a comment on Brewer’s “Poetic Asides” (4 April 2009)
Commentary: I love this poem. To read more of Justin Evans’ poetry, see utahpoet.blogspot.com.