Poetry – Fumigation

March 12, 2011


I open my door and the strange sound of buzzing

springs here and there. A dozen bees

sway through the air, bobbing as if on strings.

I stand unsure of myself

and then just shut the door.

My flat mate sits at his desk, head in his books,

unaware of the bees crawling up his walls.

I call the exterminator and wait outside

until his clean white van arrives.

“They’re in the roof,” he says, and gets on with it.

I watch from outside as he crawls around

and the roof erupts with bees.

“They don’t move ‘round at night” he says.

“Even if they’re dying?” I think and know

that I’m resigned to sleep

in my insect graveyard.


Another day and more return. They meet

and greet and hum in the morning.

At lunch they buzz with gusto

and converge upon my window.

Then when they make it in, they cling

to the fly-screen, prying at it

in earnest to return outside.

They struggle to resolve just where to move,

and move for motions sake.

I sit in the kitchen

trying to work but find myself

pacing around the tiles.

The queen is dead and the hive.

The surviving bees linger around

questioning the need for pollen until,

separated from home, they surrender,

stagger, and drop.


The last bee loses its grip

and falls from the window sill.

It’s not yet dead, but just meanders

aimlessly on my desk.

It touches my keyboard

with its front two legs considering

the possible climb, but the thought defeats it

and it settles for walking slowly around

my mug, pens, and watch.

It finds one of its sisters lying

upturned and motionless

among my speaker-wires.

It crawls all over her, brushing

antennae, checking for life.

After a minute it walks drunkenly off,

somehow even more destroyed.


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