of nothing more or less
than pulling the balaclava of foxglove or bluebell over her head
until her abundant pile is shaggy with pollen.
Contrary to reports, she hardly thinks at all
of the gorged queen bedded beneath thick comb,
the hive itself being little but a pitstop
to unload her burden of sweetness
before pedalling again at her body’s ornithopter
to tangle in the bathhouse of another lawn perimeter,
the mingling sweat of under-ravished bugles and hawthorns,
nosing her way into each tight corolla.
She does not dream of her death, nor play scholar
to the deaths of her colleagues, whom she mourns
with only the faintest fizzing. Her mind is beyond the scimitar
bill of bee-eater, the dragonfly’s forceps, the exact dioptre
of shrike-eye. She and the world are partners
in an abundant sweetshop,
a certain drowsiness that’s as close to home
as she has ever come. Call it a thrall.
She is no melittologist, all her beliefs are stolen
and since it keeps her joyous as the tears of a sun god,
she has given up fighting her own madness.
~ Jon Stone
Jon Stone is a British poet and editor, born in Derby, currently living in London. His full-length collection, ‘School of Forgery’ (Salt, 2012) was a Poetry Book Society recommendation, and he won an Eric Gregory Award in 2012. He is also the co-creator of Sidekick Books, which publishes anthologies and collaborative projects, often fusing poetry with illustration.