A Poem by R J Askew

Bees are dying mysteriously. A bee hive is one of the most sterlie places on earth and a sick bee will not contaminate the hive, taking itself off to die elsewhere. Audio version:



(Deep in hive where bee poet is addressing his sad Queen)


           Can but try

Do no good

          Can but try

They will not listen

          Can but try

They can not listen

          For the hive

My hive is dying

          For other hives

Will be no other hives

          Don't cry royal Queen

Who are you?

           But a bee

A dying bee

          Your loyal bee

My poet bee

          Say the word my Queen

I need you here

          What can I do?

Comfort me

           I will come back

No, you know you won't

          Perhaps not

We're dying, poet, all dying

          Don't cry Queen!

What else is there?

          Try to make them listen

They have no ears, poet

          I must try Queen

Then go poet, if go you must, fly to them!

          With your blessing?

With my blessing poet

          Gracious Queen!

I will miss you poet

          I will be back Queen

 No, poet, no

          But I must...go

I know, I know

          I will find one who will listen

I hope you do poet, hope you do

          Farewell Queen, may Summer's kiss...

Farewell sir poet, go. Go!



(Deep in man's mind staring at face in mirror while shaving)


Right ear lobe to chin

Draw razor across face

To chin: three, two...three

Rinse razor

Five or six lesser strokes beneath lower lip


Left ear lobe to chin

One smooth stroke of blade

What IS that buzzing?

Pay attention

No nicks, not today of all days

Focus man

That EFFING buzzing!

February, frosty?

Central heating woken a sleeper

Rinse razor

Five strokes beneath nose


(Man flinches on glimpsing flight of insect in corner of eye, but being late, persists with shave until... Bee lands on head of electronic toothbrush standing on glass shelf beneath mirror. Man studies bee in amazement.)


How baroque!

And how you dance, sir bee, as bees are want.

Is that not so?

The dance of a bee?

Is this what I see?

The dance of a bee?

And how your antenna do twitch!

As if...

As if what?

Come on bee!

As if what?


(Bee falls from the toothbrush onto sink beside brushed steel tap, lands on back, struggles, lays still, struggles anew, turns a circle on his back, dies.)



What was that about bee?


(Man, now late, gingerly picks bee up by wingtip, holds up to examine closely.)



The death ... of a bee.


(Man drops bee into toilet, flushes toilet, looks round for towel, dries face.)


Audio version on soundcloud:


© 2012 R J Askew

Author's Note

R J Askew
Audio verssio:

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Featured Review

awesome brain you have..........this is brilliant.............I felt sorry for the bee's in the first part, such sorrow........

Comfort me

I will come back

No, you know you won't

Perhaps not

We're dying poet, all dying

Don't cry Queen!

And I am not a fan of bee's, I had no idea hives were in trouble!
Then the twist of the distracted shaving man, who ponders, reflects no more as the bee is flushed away............I had no idea bee's won;t return to the hive if sick. So he came to die.
Such a sad piece, and thats amazing you made me think, and feel for a bee, feel sad!!
I will no doubt see bee's differently now.........
wonderful work.......loved the way you set this out, like a story, a play..........short life of a bee.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago

8 of 8 people found this review constructive.

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That was quite entertaining and witty.

Posted 6 Years Ago

I loved reading this piece, I've never seen for now a such orignal poem. It made me smile of the style the poem is structured, it's funny at the same time I felt quite sad for that bee. I think now I'll think twice about trying to shoo a bee.

Posted 6 Years Ago

This is clever, original writing, not only a fantastic idea but excellently produced, full of humour, unusual and fun to read.Like the way you employ a script style, gives it a radio feeling,this all fits, well done.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Hmm Orlando, what a clever clever writer you are.
At first glance one might just see the piece for what it is yet, to me there is a deeper meaning hidden behind the almost whimsical words.
The first part almost reads like someone having a conversation with God about the salvation of humankind. Given I might only be reading too much into this piece.

Great work!!

Posted 6 Years Ago

Very powerful piece.

Weeping, I see my world collapse as the teaming hordes of my own kind pilfer the last remaining scraps. Sky an ashen gray, mirrored image of the desiccated land. Eerie rustling of wind through denuded forests as birds choke on fouled water. World forgive us for what we’ve done.

Kind of a cheap shot throwing in one of my poems, but I wanted to show you we are on the same wave length concerning nature and what is happening to our world. Hopefully one day things will improve, most likely after our kind is gone.

Posted 6 Years Ago

Your delivery is amazing as you describe the "Dance of the Bee's!
Bringing light to this sad truth.
In the US honey bees are dying. Will this entrancing dance be terminated by Humanity?
Hearing you read this piece truly brings the written word to life.
"Worth thinking about"? Yes, without a doubt! ~ Jude :-)

Posted 6 Years Ago

wonderful to take a walk down memory lane

Posted 6 Years Ago

I've never read anything quite like this - amazing.

Posted 6 Years Ago

This is so cool.......I have to go hear the audio version. Wow

Posted 6 Years Ago

this has a fairy tale feel to it, but then "cut scene", so to speak, to a man shaving, which becomes very ominous and sets the reader a bit on edge.

Very interesting set up.

I enjoyed the footnotes about bees. An ancient roman poet once wrote a whole book about bees.

This has some undertones of Plato banishing poets from the Republic as well.

Posted 6 Years Ago

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68 Reviews
Shelved in 8 Libraries
Added on February 21, 2008
Last Updated on April 13, 2012


R J Askew
R J Askew

United Kingdom

Busy re-writing a new story. more..


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