Arthur Broomfield

The Bee Woman works at her Hive

After ‘The Bee Woman’ a painting by Mansfield

During lulls in the natural order,
when the dead have been buried
and the laws of seed time and harvest
are reinstated, look on me as the
the landlady with the right tenants,
popular in business in quiet times.

In concord with the will of the world
I pose in white suit and visor
as I record the verve of the hive,
the stash of its riches:
propolis, pollen,
royal jelly, eternal honey,
nectar and beeswax,
as any concern would,

while Queen Bee, entrusted
to her particular space and time,
desirous, mates and breeds,
builds, convicts the unwanted.

In normal time I emerge,
when the whiff of ordnance in the air
sets the lines buzzing with rumours of wars,
and the forest flora and ferocious winds
snarl in tremendous arguments,
scattering the indecisive rhododendron,
accommodating what the land will allow.

Now I am the ethereal one returned
from the debacle of maternal earth,
of it and on it, the calm in the storm.
I am here in the hum and whirr
of these zips and zooms, visible,
as a pallid robe and medieval yellow gloves,
the infinite spirit that assumes presence,
laying hands on the pollinating hive.

Dr Arthur Broomfield is a poet and Beckett scholar from County Laois, Ireland. Among his publications are The Poetry reading at Semple Stadium [ Lapwing 2011], Mice at the Threshing [Lapwing 2015], Cold Coffee at Emo Court [ Revival Press 2016 ] and his critical study on the works of Samuel Beckett The Empty Too : language and philosophy in the works of Samuel Beckett [ Cambridge Scholars’ Publishing 2014 ]. His poetry has been published in journals and anthologies in Ireland, the UK, the USA and India. He holds a Ph.D degree in English literature from Mary immaculate College, University of Limerick.

A video of Arthur reading his work
is available on the Acumen facebook.