A Round Robin, by M. A. Hoyer and Robert Ellice Mack, illustrated by Harriett M. Bennett, c. 1891. Image sourced from The Old Design Shop
Watching the bees
Here are the words of the blazing day
and the once beautiful arrangements.
It was heady, was it not?
The arrival of this brightest of days.
Outside the day was perfection.
Here a few few bees in the garden
hid under clumps of cut grass.
Why are they tucking themselves away?
Or are they burrowing for pollen,
heady on word from the other bees?
Our day of blazing perfection was heady,
was it not?
Was it not?
It has been a wildly warm day by London standards. I tried to write in the garden first thing this morning. The bees and butterflies and a single large-bodied horsefly were my ground company.
An illustration of a prawn salad from from Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, 1907. Courtesy of the Old Design Shop, a vintage image treasury.
Today I present two poems from the archive –
Now here is something to marvel at… (posted in 2012)
Is it worth it? (posted in 2013)
Both poems tackle the theme of worldly aspirations and success. In “Now here…” the concerns of juggling a shoestring budget are interrupted by observations of life’s ordinary marvels and man’s urban success (the Gherkin).
“Is it worth it?” uses the image of a well-kept lawn as the metaphor for reigned-in success. Grass is that something else that reaches from the earth and applauds the expansive blue of sky. It exists as a blade of grass merely being for being’s own sake. When the grass has once again reached an unruly height, the lawnmower returns to cut it down.
I explain in the 2013 post that “Is it worth it?” was a based on an earlier short poem I thought I had mislaid. That poem, about prawns and trekking up a London hill, later reappeared.
Success, achievement and priorities have also featured in these poems
How do you make a dream come true?
A definition, notably for the cloud-dwelling artists
The Character Building
926 breathless accomplishments
In the Ocean: a year of poetry
Emily’s Poems for Modern Boys
Shining in Brightness: Selected Poems, 1999 – 2012