Friday, 13 June 2008

Interpreting the Waggle Dance

An old beekeeper told me
about the Waggle Dance -
the shaking and stepping moves
bees make to map out
where honey can be found.

dance longer - the honey is further
dance head up - fly towards the sun

The old beekeeper told me
different species of bees
can learn each others dances
but, he said
they're all getting tired

as each year they need to dance for longer.


Storytelling for Read Write Poem

Find out more about the UK's bees at the Bumble Bee Conservation Trust

25 comments:

Dave said...

An effective - and affecting - response to the prompt. (Missing an apostrophe in "others," though.)

Nicole Nicholson said...

...and we're left to wonder what will happen when they get too tired.

Awesome poem.

-Nicole

Nathan said...

When I took linguistics classes years ago the bee dances were considered this grey area between human language and animal communication. This is a great response to the prompt and a wonderful poem.

polona said...

wow, that's a wonderful poem, and poignant considering what's been happening to the bees worldwide...

Rabbits' Guy said...

Bees make for great writing!

noahthegreat said...

I really like this one!

Bobbb - Citizen of Earth said...

Its Nature’s Way
Of telling you...

To know the dance
Of the honeybees
Is to be connected
To things primal
Fundamental

Essential

We must then
Answer
With a dance of our own
A dance, of action
Awareness
Understanding

Not enough
To merely understand

Somethings wrong
Somethings wrong
Somethings wrong

We must respond

Lucy said...

Nice one.

Some honey bees are appearing now, I missed them for a long time. Small black, yellow and white bumbles seem fairly prolific, but the general demise is clear.

Scot said...

excellent

Crafty Green Poet said...

Dave - thanks for the proofreading!

Nicole, polona, rabbits guy, noah, scot - thanks!

Nathan - that was part of what prompted this poem actually, I've just read a great book which I'll be reviewing here.

Bobb - you're right, that's why I added the link to Bumble Bee Conservation....

lucy - I know, its tragic

Ričardas said...

Great ending, left me thinking how long it will take before we have to engage in a dance to long to dance to get water for our garden...

mariacristina said...

I feel like the bees sometimes. Great ending to an interesting poem.

odessa said...

these dancing bees reminds me of the song "we're all in the dance". how beautiful, and how poignant. thank you for sharing his poem.

gautami tripathy said...

I can almost see the bees conversing and dancing...

Jennifer said...

I like the last line as a stand-alone line. This was wonderful to read.

jillypoet said...

I am so glad to learn this. The bees dancing is such a wonderful immage.

anthonynorth said...

They're getting more than tired. What are we doing to them? If that doesn't worry people, look at their importance. What are we doing to us?

Lirone said...

Lovely and thought-provoking. You might enjoy this article I came across recently - about bees learning each other's languages:

http://www.theage.com.au/national/dance-a-universal-language-for-bees-20080604-2lw8.html

mary said...

Just some constructive criticism: the first stanza isn't as tight as the latter stanzas. There might be some words to slice or rearrange. I love the last two lines!

artpredator said...

fascinating--i love how your work integrates the natural world and science with your poetic images and impulses!

paisley said...

excellent piece highlighting the distressing situation with the loss of so many bees... i have to wonder then,, why is it my yard is full of the swarming little creatures... do you think it is because there is no cell reception in the canyon... i have to wonder......

Susan Richardson said...

Beautiful poem.

It's got me thinking of other bee poems - such as Sylvia Plath's, and a wonderful poem by Linda Hogan ('Bees in Transit: Osage County) in the Bloodaxe ecopoetry anthology 'Earth Shattering'.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Susan - that's an anthology I keep meaning to buy, thanks for reminding me!

Mary - i know, its already a lot tighter than the first version was but it could be improved! Thanks

Anthony - I know, I didn't want to be too strident in the poem though and tiredness seemed to be the best way to go...

Lirone - I'll go and read that, there was an article in the Guardian newspaper about that recently too

one more believer said...

never knew abt the bee dances before... as an organic gardener with flowers everywhere... bees, bumble bees are always around while im working... since hearing abt the quandry of bees and pollination it is a wonderful story told... i was always curious abt their feet and how they wipe them off as they enter the hive.. the dance makes me think of american indians and their ritual dances... we all have our own dance.. don't you think...

Wild Orchids for Trotsky said...

This is poignant and beautiful, both literally about the bees and as a metaphor for the increasing communication challenges every species must face (our own included) if we are to deal with and take action on a changing climate.