Legend of the Bee Queen

Apis Mellifera

— grafted during the first instar,

the bee queen emerges from her piping season,

seizing back her marking pen . . . . . . then

October, 1962 — she marks 25 commemorations.


Sovereign to the worms & the dirt

ever before the flowers —

the (falling) matriarch pledges her fertility

— the ripe decay of thirty summers — and all of her sustenance,

down to her last drop of bee bread . . . . . . when


grave-digging season sets in — —

the wintering winds advance their fury,

only to fall powerless to her excellency’s own —

she, the ruler of  perpetual oblivion from birth;

she, the hemolymph, possessing all the warmth of a winter cluster, alone.


She is the solitary swarm & the numb-lipped lone-ness

stinging & streaming out her black-death ribbons

all at once —  mad & buzzing for a legacy,

with her ink-stamped honeycomb of grave goods


she migrates to a last December

where Yeats’ ghost has been commissioned

for the blessing of her coffin hive

on Fitzroy, in Primrose


— the Fates’ parting pittance

& the royal clock snow-stopped to mourn

the coming of her majesty’s farewell year

(how sticky with pride she must have been)


1963 . . . . . . February —

the death season;  she is abdicating

nothing; the queen propolizes her throne

& with permanent assemblage — —


She remains entombed & numinous

to reign in the 4 a.m. phosphorescence

of her fever-hazed confession room — —

She, the immortal & malevolent

nebulous with the brooding antennae

& a brimming pollen basket; she remains.


Not of country; not of colony

but surely of a realm preceding America . . .

She, the mother tongue, spoon-fed of royal jelly —

with her London death — the old smoke —

and the headstone to prove it.















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