Archives for posts with tag: Bees

igor batenev
A Bee Will Visit 5,000 Flowers a Day
by Ranney Campbell

that sweet year’s rare drench stirred
tiny bright yellow petals so delicate
not the color
               named for, wild mustard,

and sticky invasive cane tangled
every bit of hills devoid defense
natural enemies and bees followed

to collect pollen and lie on my back
on granite, inundated in ten-thousand

buzzes unlike another experience
ever in my head vibrating a magnetic
                 in knowing they might
over and over
with home all those miles away
had gone alone so far
                                    off trail

swelled between stems whirling
                         the air black slashed
core droned

                              eyes closed

they would know I meant no harm

or that at least whatever inflicted
would leave me
with just a number of red welts
of venom
that soon enough would settle

PHOTO: Bee on wild mustard by Igor Batanev.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ranney Campbell is from St. Louis, Missouri, but lives in Southern California. Her chapbook, Pimp, is published by Arroyo Seco Press, and other work has appeared in Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, Hummingbird: Magazine of the Short Poem, Third Wednesday, Eastern Iowa Review, ONE ART, Storm Cellar (forthcoming), and elsewhere.

pomegranates and bees
Days of Honey
          —during the pandemic
by Mary Fitzpatrick

Looking for light in the pandemic, we note
that the bees have returned. Vivid
in their occupation of the clean box
I’d readied, lured by seven-foot
sage-blossom stalks. I’m reassured
there are enough
to break away and form this hive
behind our garage, just in season
to double our pomegranates, a wealth
at any time and especially now.
It’s been three months. By November when
the pomegranates lose the red fuzz
under their leathery crowns, it will be nine.
Our time’s become timeless — is this
BC or AD? Carthage Ephesus Campania?
Make the weeks count. Lift
a rack of honeycomb from the hive
—it teems and glistens—
and let gold run all over the days.

PHOTO: Pomegranates and Bees by Palex66.

 NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: “Days of Honey” was written in a state of dreamy timelessness during the early months of the pandemic, when staying home and shedding my busy calendar still felt like a gift. The title actually became the title of a chapbook manuscript written during this time, while I was also contending with my mother’s severe illness. My pandemic memories run the gamut, but this particular event — finding a new colony of bees had moved in —was very sweet.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Fitzpatrick’s poems have been finalists for the Joy Harjo Poetry Prize and the Slapering Hol Chapbook Award; short-listed for the Fish Publishing Prize; featured in Mississippi Review, Atlanta Review and North American Review as contest finalists; and published in such journals as Agenda (UK), Briar Cliff Review, Hunger Mountain, InterLitQ, Miramar, The Paterson Review, Pratik,, plus ten anthologies. A graduate of UC Santa Cruz with an MFA from UMass Amherst, she is a fourth-generation Angeleno who feels at home in Ireland.

two bees and clover
Being Like Bees
by Darrell Petska

Costumed in a space suit, wielding a smoke pot
and pry bar, the beekeeper tore at our farmhouse—
Sis and I fretting the plight of our bees.

Within nestled the queen in her honey-castle,
among lacy-winged ladies-in-waiting, wooing suitors,
and couriers relating nectar news.

Great gloved hands uprooted the hive’s pulsing heart.
How we’d miss their sunny choruses, their lullabies
hummed inside the wall, inches from our ears.

What would they do without Mother’s flowers?
Would they starve without Father’s hay fields?
Sis and I had listened and heard: they needed the freedom

we enjoyed, sun-warmed and wind-sped
across our green bit of heaven just fence rows
removed from the perplexing world of grown-ups

like the gruff beekeeper shooing Sis and me back,
bribing us with chunky goodness from the queen’s rich store
as he brushed the last bees from the honeycomb.

There we sat munching, our concerns allayed
by reassurances regarding our bees’ new home
and golden honey drizzling down our chins.

So brief their stay, yet they’d sweetened our lives—
Sis and I leaned together, imagining our future akin to that
of honeybees: wherever life took us, we’d go there together.

PHOTO: Two bees and clover by Dariusz Kopestynski.

 NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: My sister, Shirley, died at age nine. I was eight. The bees came and were relocated the last full summer we shared together. Do the dead really ever go away? Perhaps that explains, a little, the honey jar always on my countertop.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Darrell Petska is a retired university engineering editor and 2021 Pushcart Prize nominee. His poetry and fiction can be found in 3rd Wednesday Magazine, Nixes Mate Review, Verse Virtual, Monterey Poetry Review, Orchards Poetry Journal, and widely elsewhere. Find links to his work at A father of five and grandfather of six, he lives near Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife of more than 50 years.

Let the Clover Grow
by Andrew Jeter

Let the little white flowers
dot the afternoon,

pom poms cheering the
workers on—collecting,
gathering, trooping

in their swarms.

Let them leave our
yards & fields of feasting—
our poorly tended lawns

of broadleaf bombasts—
drunk and dusted.

Let us feed their millions
with blooming covers

and not our vain pursuits,
those flattened green
rectangles—palls for

all the grasslovers.

PHOTO: Bee and clover by H-G-Fotografie

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I think that a large part of being a responsible land owner is getting out of the way of all those creatures in my garden who are making it work. That includes making sure they have what they need, too. This poem was inspired by my attempts to get more clover and indigenous wildflowers to grow on my property so that I can support our local bee population.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Andrew Jeter has been a high school English and film teacher for 19 years. He holds a BA in English and Creative Writing, a Masters in English Education, and a PhD in English Composition & Applied Linguistics. He has lived in North Africa, Southeast Asia, Central Europe, and North America with five dogs and one husband. He currently splits his time between Chicago and Saugatuck, Michigan. His first collection of poems, Ancient Memories, is available at His poems have also been published by Silver Birch Press. Read more of his work at and follow him at

by John Ciardi

Morning glories, pale as a mist drying,
fade from the heat of the day, but already
hunchback bees in pirate pants and with peg-leg
hooks have found and are boarding them.

This could do for the sack of the imaginary
fleet. The raiders loot the galleons even as they
one by one vanish and leave still real
only what has been snatched out of the spell.

I’ve never seen bees more purposeful except
when the hive is threatened. They know
the good of it must be grabbed and hauled
before the whole feast wisps off.

They swarm in light and, fast, dive in,
then drone out, slow, their pantaloons heavy
with gold and sunlight. The line of them,
like thin smoke, wafts over the hedge.

And back again to find the fleet gone.
Well, they got this day’s good of it. Off
they cruise to what stays open longer.
Nothing green gives honey. And by now

you’d have to look twice to see more than green
where all those white sails trembled
when the world was misty and open
and the prize was there to be taken.

SOURCE: “Bees and Morning Glories” appears in John Ciardi‘s collection Person to Person (Rutgers University Press, 1964), available at

IMAGE: “Morning Glories and Bees” by Virginia. Visit the artist at


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: John Ciardi (1916-1986), while primarily known as a poet, translated Dante‘s Divine Comedy, wrote several volumes of children’s poetry, pursued etymology, contributed to the Saturday Review as a columnist and long-time poetry editor, and directed the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont. In 1959, Ciardi published a book on how to read, write, and teach poetry, How Does a Poem Mean?, which has proven to be among the most-used books of its kind. At the peak of his popularity in the early 1960s, Ciardi also had a network television program on CBS, Accent.

by Shel Silverstein

George got stung by a bee and said,
“I wouldn’t have got stung if I’d stayed in bed.”
Fred got stung and we heard him roar,
“What am I being punished for?”
Lew got stung and we heard him say,
“I learned somethin’ about bees today.”


Find “Three Stings” in Falling Up, a 176-page collection of poetry and illustrations by Shel Silverstein, available at



by Shel Silverstein

George got stung by a bee and said,

“I wouldn’t have got stung if I’d stayed in bed.”

Fred got stung and we heard him roar,

“What am I being punished for?”

Lew got stung and we heard him say,

“I learned somethin’ about bees today.”


This little Shel Silverstein rhyme speaks volumes about human nature —  how different people can interpret the same experience in different ways, and how we can choose which “answer” to believe. I like to think of Lew as the quintessential writer — always learning, no latter what happens, and expressing himself in stories, song, and poetry.


Find “Three Stings” in Falling Up, a 176-page collection of poetry and illustrations by Shel Silverstein, available at, where the book has garnered 100 five-star reviews.



by Matsuo Basho

The bee emerging 

from deep within the peony

departs reluctantly.