a bumblebee protection plan

purple flowers and busy bee gathering nectar

Part I. The Mystery is Introduced
a rusty-patched bumblebee
               in an
                               “ecological poof”

Part II. Our Intrepid Detective Stitches Together the Scene
inside a mating cage
                one queen bee
                and her toadstool
                fungus-fattened drone
                with abdomen frozen
                the learned result?
colonies starve when only males are born

Part III. Balanced on a Tightwire
trace the monetary tale of global decline
unearth one more case
of disease-carrying colonizers
and ask who
will melt
thirty silver pennies
into a savior’s silver bullet to cure this plague?

The poetry blog imaginary garden with real toads presented a weekend focus challenge on insects and bugs. I did a little digging and found an interesting article on the plight of bumblebees, and then took a side trip into poetry forms. The bumblebee article was much too long to create an erasure (blackout poem) like this one, but I’m looking forward to experimenting. Enjoy!

shorebird cry

Your delight at a new-found surprise went unacknowledged, and so another nail in the coffin of crushed dreams was driven home. But what a delight, filled with choices! Ramble wooded trail or old logging road? Turn shoreline left or shoreline right? Bats arrow inland, on the prowl for evening bugs. Mid-day, seal pups sun. Old owl perches under the fir canopy, waiting for the rush of small feet. Find historical tributes to the displacers and displaced. This is where past, present and future community gathers; and the place you could not bring her.

sunbeam to shadow
tardy feet wander this trail
a shorebird cries

The day 12 NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a haibun about the natural landscape of where we live. Woodard Bay Conservation Area is a gem.

Giving way . . .

praying mantis in leaves

Black gives way
to grey
gives way
to green
gives way to . . .

Somewhere in our neighborhood
high above gently steaming rooftops,
mists-waifs dance and sway
straining to reach
the sun-touched tips of ageless trees.

Black gives way
to grey
gives way
to green
gives way to . . .

Rustling sounds of morning air
tentative stretches and pin-feather fluffing,
shy chirps still at night sentry’s cry
Rise! Shine! Begone night’s despair!
sly humor on the wing of owl.

Black gives way
to grey
gives way
to green
gives way to . . .

Shadows scurry in shame
creep down siding, slide between leaves
sun rouses slumbering buds
sets nectar flowing, calls all to feast
welcomes bee, hummingbird, stalking beasts.

Black gives way
to grey
gives way
to green
gives way to . . .

Untitled Offering

Toothy embrace guzzles the setting sun,

while sage-scented sorrows roost for the night.

Rattling aspens capture the flight

of dusky grouse who go to ground . . .

BOOM! He calls her. She doesn’t answer.

Underbrush scurry

exposes night’s chill

one lone feather

drifting proof —

a predatory answer

for a faithless favor.

BOOM! He calls her. She doesn’t answer.

Seven thru Twelve

The important part about these writing challenges is that I keep my hand in the game. The poetry I’m writing this year does not strike me as particularly appealing on any level,  but it’s critical to just plug away. Part of the difficulty is just that work is pretty intense and grad school takes a lot of time. Life is just busy right now. But that busyness firms my resolve to get things different enough in my life that I have the time and space to do what calls to me, to make use of the gifts I’ve been given. Enough maunderings. Here we go:

Day 12: Where I long to be. 
Jagged peaks cut crystal blue sky,
rising sun cast upon shimmering snow, a
glowing welcome.
Climbing stone knees,
deep green pines keep tight grip —
aspen tremble, whispering in chill wind.
Sinuous snakes the river tracing
open valley floor; look to the mountain’s edge.
I can see forever.
Day 11: The challenge is to write a poem in the Sapphic form.
Pink becomes the burdened limbs of spring’s delight
a nesting ground of life reborn, a promise filled;
hope is born in violent thrusts of beak and claw —
soft bundles of fluff.
Day 10: The challenge is to write an abecedarian poem. 
Another day came slinking in
beneath the golden streaks of hope
copper-hued grey fleece, the
dancing tendrils
escape, they
flee, they
groan in
horror – or is it ecstasy?
Imagine, if you will
just for a second or two, the
kiss midair, of Solaris and his
lover. Luna is a
maiden fair, but
never so much as when she dares
opine,  to gently preach
pursuit of freedom, her
quest for liberty
ringing in Solaris’ ears, a thunderous
statement, a
testimony to
unmet need, to her
virginal dreams of no longer being tied to the
westward setting, a
xylene solution that breeds only
zealots, filled with keen fancy.
Day 9: Try your hand at a calligram (i.e., a poem or other text in which the words are arranged into a specific shape or image.)
So, here’s the poem:
What interrupts the slow ripple
out and beyond the sinking stone of decisions made?
What diverts the wave of consequence from lapping against
the shores of yesterdays and yesteryears still to come?
And here’s the crude hand-drawn shape:

Day 8: Write a palinode (i.e., a poem in which the poet retracts a statement made in an earlier poem.
The original poem:
Sticky fingers was afraid
to let go of her cherry pie.
So, she clung like a burr,
and caused a sore that slowly died.
The palinode:
Sticky fingers was not afraid
to let go of her cherry pie.
She tossed it in the garbage bin,
and wiped the crumbs right off her hands.
Day 7: The challenge is to write a poem about money.
It’s all about the money, luv’ –
too little too late, and you’re
past the expiration date . . .       
too much too soon, and they
call you a buffoon.
Money doesn’t handle you, luv’ –
you handle it. There’s a dress code, quite strict with
kid gloves for the delicate trades
of favors and goods;
bloodstained boxing gloves
when reclaiming your soul.
You’re the money, luv’ –
never forget
what you put into it
is all that you’ll get.


Above the Clouds

Above the clouds,
and yet below
horizon is far away.
Where lingers hope?
Amidst the crags of grey-hued rocks
cling odd bits of lichen and moss.
Scrabbling for toeholds
in cracks and in folds
of timeless spires
piercing the sky.
In trees digging deep
underneath old stone
claiming a space of their own;
in turn granting shelter
to those with four-legs
and those winging mid-air.
In the smell of the pines
and the wind off the snow;
in the sound of the trees when they gently moan.
In the scurryings through shrubs
and the twittering cheeps
in the stillness
in the silence
in the surety life keeps.
Where lingers hope?
In you and in me.


a trick-of-the-eye
not for blinding by
but rather for seeing clear

cornered glimpses
share delicate promises
hidden years seen from afar

march in stately cadence
drawing the lens awry

the dreamer’s slow rousing
and languid opening
gazes on possibilities drifting by

to tumbling streams
which leave glistening clean,
the boulders over which they fall

while twigs and leaves
on rapid currents twist and turn
and fear not what lies at the end