Rob Schackne. Elegy for a bee


In the corner 
of my eye a chair
a small table
then lilac vase red carnations
nearly murdered–
yesterday a truck
stopped in time
the trick is yours
like footprints
of a tiny spider
my memories
the melting ice
how do you tell
a photograph
the destruction
of everything–
what is this place
the corners
already gone


Alien easel
some gravity 
lord knows the light
how do you see
the eye of a whale 
inside the wood
the whorly knot
in the stomach
when Jonah finally
knew he was there
that curious blue 
sure it’s rather big 
there’s a lot going on


At the funeral
a flower got up
to say a few words–
the world intoxicated him
flight and colour
the tools he used
to shape the natural order
he was not alone
the humming will go on
pause a moment
we hear it buzz
with intelligence
and sympathy
for everything that
might seem different
that was the toil
honey was his gift
fallen to earth nearby
rest in peace


Incredible beauty
is how we came to
live in a cursed land
we wanted to know
why we farmed the wind
and the salty soil
we waited for drought
we made our bread
we broke the rock
the bees said goodbye
till all we had left
was each other
some other time
and the short spells
we made with laughter

About the contributor

Born in New York, Rob Schackne lived in many countries until Australia finally took him in. He was a Foreign Expert EFL teacher in China for many years. There were some extreme sports once; now he plays (mostly) respectable chess and pool. He listens to the Grateful Dead. He lives in a small Victorian country town, where he enjoys the fresh air, the birds and the sunshine. When he's not writing, he likes taking photographs.

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