by Alison Brackenbury
In unkempt borders whose sweet mess
The plumber calls ‘floriferous’
The bumbles are a distant drone,
Ear's soothing, irritating home.
Bees grow rare, as the heat soars. Look,
Antennae, species, crowd the book.
Huge white- and buff-tailed trundle by
Trumpeted shrubs in January.
Rough, golden-backed, the carder bee
Scrambles rose pollens through July.
In fuschia's tunnels, a long eye,
Bombus hortorum, garden bee,
Gleams warning. The sleek bees of hives
Fly tame. These follow hidden lives
In old mouse-nests, a crumbling wall.
Startled, you let the fat book fall.
Bee booms, black bomber, at your face,
Too wild for sun's grace, or for rhyme.