September 2012

The Pollinators (Fugue in Bee Minus)

listen to this poem
 
The bees from Idaho

were brought to the almond groves

as the Santa Ana was dying down.

Nomads arrived in 18 wheelers

looking for the valley of the sun.

They had never seen anything like it.

Box after box after box left empty.

The trees bloom in the fading

wind, dispersed colonies

collapse again.

 

“Colony Collapse Disorder”

echoes in the research labs

as the coded waggle dance wigs out.

Tube after tube after tube collected.

A potpourri of viruses, fungi

found in AIDS, neonicotinoids,

large single crop diets, all weaken,

everything tested under the sun,

even organic bees don’t return,

falling victim.

 

The Bees are not returning.

They bring in giant blowers

to simulate the Santa Ana,

pollinate the almond groves

and grapes. The bees get no

nutrition, die in a strange field.

Hive after hive after hive abandoned.

The sun on the valley floor

bakes the lost pollen, bees

that have fallen.

 

Hot helicopter buzzing

stirs up dust in the fields.

Farming this dirt, pesticide, toxic mix.

Cell after cell after cell unanswered.

Microwave pulses of radiation

confuse the bees in their weakened

condition, causing them to lose their way.

Under a naked sun, nomads pack

away the boxes and head

to Washington.