Susan Richardson – Pesticidal

Pesticidal
 
 In her early weeks as a bee
she learnt to thrive in a colony of thousands,
to defend the hive, and clean.
She revealed her dream of world pollination,
sought an audience with the queen.
In her waggle dance class,
she threw the sharpest moves,
soon knew where to choose the juiciest nectar,
how to cruise the rural sector for foxgloves,
clover, borage, and how to lose herself
in the intoxicating forage
for pollen from oilseed rape.
 
Hard to say when she first sensed
that petals seemed less bright,
when she first felt compelled
to embrace the varroa mite. Hard to know
when she first noticed drones
trying to mate, mid-flight,
with cabbage whites, golf balls, crows.
In time, though, the line she was making   wavered
                  diverted     
reversed
              till she began to return
with fag ends, ring pulls, plastic
in her pollen basket –
and finally, burbling workers’ rights,
she went on permanent strike.
 
Now she’s stopped co-opting bonnets,
crawls on flawed knees
through her hive of inactivity,
waxes hysterical in spherical combs –
Honey, I’m home.
 
Susan Richardson: I am a Wales-based poet, performer and educator whose third collection, skindancing, themed around human-animal metamorphosis and our dys/functional relationship with the wild, will be published by Cinnamon Press next year. I am currently poet-in-residence with the Marine Conservation Society.

www.susanrichardsonwriter.co.uk
twitter – @susanpoet

Susan Richardson – Phorusrhacidae

Phorusrhacidae

 
This is not a guillemot
bobbing in the froth of our dreams
or a mallard dabbling in shallow water
for our shoots and seeds.
This is not a jay storing our acorn-mistakes
for future gorging, or a great grey owl braced
        for the   twitch
of lemming beneath our snow.
No. And this isn’t a fossil:
scientists who hypothesise –
flightless…exceeded two metres in height –
should unfledge their computer models and edge
into the light, where a beak slashes open
the belly of sleep, rips
the flesh from our skittish pledges,
crushes smug bones and scythes
the scrub as it hunts
our mammal logic.
Futile to assume we can outpace it.
Useless to play dead.
Too late to plead now it copulates
              with greed, exchanges
gifts of shifted blame
and squats on top of our world, coercing
it to          crack.
Susan Richardson: I am a Wales-based poet, performer and educator whose third collection, skindancing, themed around human-animal metamorphosis and our dys/functional relationship with the wild, will be published by Cinnamon Press next year. I am currently poet-in-residence with the Marine Conservation Society.

www.susanrichardsonwriter.co.uk
twitter – @susanpoet