Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Bees

the bees
poem by Mick Tomlinson

first it was the spiders.
they repelled down like paratroopers
they dangled over my coffee
my computer, my sofa, my bed;
legs all over my apartment
spread open, waiting for contact.

I went to war with them,
and won.

last night it was the bees.
I imagine at first it was just one
that flew in by accident,
in through the open window
near my bed.
after a few moments of disoriented
buzzing into walls and ceilings
it finally calmed down
and accepted it's new home.

but what's a home without
friends and family?

that little fucker invited EVERYONE.

leading up to the war between
man vs. bees,
man had been drinking beer
and twisting metal in the driveway
all evening;
the bees remained sober
and full of sting.
6 beers, 1 poem, and an 8 dollar
bottle of wine later
I took the highway to my bedroom,
exited south.

and that's when I first saw them.

three of them at first,
just resting on the wall near the window.
their black & yellow bodies
& folded down wings, tight and still,
I think they were asleep.
I left for the kitchen and returned
with flyswatter in drunken hand..

the first one never knew what hit him,
but the second and third were quick
to figure me out: I was a sudden threat.
they were awake, but their aerial escape
was languid and their stupid little wings
couldn't save them.


I was the Inebriated Emperor,
the king of my dilapidated castle.
I would sleep victoriously,
dream of battlefields littered with fallen warriors
with me standing in the middle, triumphant-
and then I heard The Sound...

it was the sound that's made
by many bees,
the sound heard just before
a swarm attacks.
and it was very, very near:
oh.. my..
behind my rag-tag window blind
was the rest of them
huddled in the upper corner against
the glass, an army of insects
stirring angrily, wings quivering
and coming to life.


I looked down at my miserable
choice of weaponry, I looked around.
I needed a new strategy.
I went back into the kitchen,
opened another beer.
I thought about Sun Tzu's chapter 8:
Variation Of Tactics.
I thought about America and her two wars.
I thought about the Hatfields & McCoys..
and then it hit me.

I returned to my bedroom (battleground)
with a can of oven cleaner
in one hand, and a lighter in the other-
Chapter 12: The Attack By Fire.
I took aim, thumbed the lighter to life,
and sprayed...

the flame blew out
and my incendiary attack became
a chemical attack,
which angered and confused two-dozen
winged stingers and sent them flying
in all directions, my plan had failed.
I felt the tide of war shift to their favor.
I retreated and watched
as my room became a tornado of madness.

I picked up the flyswatter
and in a drunken rage I rushed in, returning fire:
one by one they fell,
they had to land at some point.
I dodged strafing attacks and kamikazee runs,
I was very impressive for being so loaded.
Chapter 5: Energy, Chapter 7: Maneuvering
Sun Tzu would be so proud.

I went to war with them,
and won.


  1. I've had a fruit fly infestation recently, although I have no fruit in the house. Haven't had for three weeks. Still they keep hanging around. So I try everything to kill them. I find they like a little wine in the bottom of a bottle. Mostly they can't find their way back out and they drink up until they drown in the stuff.

    Then the other day, I came home and saw a couple of them flying around and I felt...happy to see them, happy there was something else living to greet me at the door. They've apparently become my pets.

    But I still want to kill them.

    What does that say about me?

    (I just had to get that out and this seemed like the place to do it!) :)

  2. This is one of my favorites! I was giggling and wiggling in my chair.

  3. I read this story about every month. it gets me laughing each and ever time. you have something about you, dark and mysterious. i can't help but want to know you. i want to know you

  4. @ anonymous: "i can't help but want to know you. i want to know you."

    I could say the same about you. Who are you?

  5. well, here I am again reading this delightfully entertaining story. I can count on it to lift the day off my bosom.

  6. Well, it's been a long time since I have read this. I needed it. I giggle out loud every time I read it. Even though I have read it hundreds of time, I still grasp on to each word, can't wait for the next. Well done.

  7. Hello, Dark and Mysterious!


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