Whilst reading the final drafts of The Beekeeper’s Apprentice it struck me how words, and in particularly poetry, when committed to paper can transmute over time to adapt to current situations and environments. Whereas some of the poems within the book where written many years ago, in some cases missing out on being included in Flowers by the Road, they seem more relevant to the times that we now find ourselves witnessing.
Take the title poem for example: initially created around a global theme of climate change and environmental disaster, who could have predicted that any season would be lost without sound.
There is a slight apprehension that The Beekeeper’s Apprentice is launched into a world where our futures are unknown and ill-defined. The reason for writing and publishing work is so that somewhere, someone may find it and gain something. What that something is remains unwritten, undiscovered, but without the artists, poets and musicians existing then there would be nothing left to explore. Imagine that.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice
There are somethings I will never understand:
the secrets of the beehive; a dying sting;
the apiarist’s hand at the signal
of the last swarm guided from the under-land
where life peels away from the new colours
mixed on a rough-sawn palette;
a violent history that understood
the bitter-sweet taste of flowers.
Inside the butterfly collector
spears her latest catch;
euphemised in chloroform,
displayed in plastic on the door.
December once brought cold,
once brought the first frost,
rain, hardship and a hunger
for the bleak winters of old.
Outside the greyness suffocates ground,
deadens the call of birds
now left to winter it out.
Of all the seasons to be lost without sound.
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice will be released on the 23 April as a special limited edition of 100 copies.