‘A Buzz in the Woods’

Thirty poets gathered at the Wytham Chalet to try their hand a poetry inspired by a morning spent with Dr Tonya Lander looking for and learning about solitary bees. Here follows a selection of poems submitted by workshop attendees: 


after Maya Catherine Popa


Never again will bees their treasured nectar seek  

Never again their dancing wings of pleasures speak 

Person crouching looking for Bees in a green meadow


Never again will bees collect, pack and carry the pollen 

Never again the wild field flowers blossom 


Never again will bees the felled trees mourn 

Never again their symbiotic art the earth adorn 


Never again will the high woods hum 

Never again the wild honey run. 


Never, never again will field flower or forest leaf  

Lest parasitic Man its own maker’s maker meet. 


                                         Garry Maguire 

On the Beaten Track

after Maya Catherine Popa


Never again the fuzzy bottomed buzzer,

Image of bombus pratorum bee standing on a brown leaf

Nor the translucent lattice of wings.

Never again the lick of nectar on the woollen anther,

or the rings of gold and charcoal.

Never again will you see the dried dancer, captured in the spider's snare.

Nor the jade beetle, scuttling along the ivy-coloured blade.

Never again the saccharine perfume of the petals,

or the shock of blue darting from leaf to leaf.

The speckled branch that quivers at the touch of the wind could snap,

its life so brief.

The bombus pratorum flies from flower to hive,

trying with the minute space it has, to keep itself alive.


                                         Shakira Morar

Never Again

after Maya Catherine Popa


Never again the common blues dance together in the haze 

Image of swallow taking flight

Never again the red-tailed bumble buzzes in the glade 

Never again the red-flecked burnet flutters in the grass 


Never again the wren and white throat sing 

Never again the gentle blackbird tends her brood 

Never again the swallows swoop and swing 


Never again the air clear and blue and new 

Never again the beech trees lean together in the wood 

Never again this walk with you 


                                         Elizabeth Napier

A Buzz in the Woods


Today I ensnared angry bees in

plastic vials

wytham chalet

Pinched beetles from their buttercup homes

Mimicked the buzz of flight

with the drum of poetry.

Synchrony in hearts and melodies.

Today I spoke religion,

screenwriting, politics, and biology.


nothing seemed out of place

The marriage of a bee and its pollen

the backdrop for art, science, community, soul.


                                         Selena Zhao

If you are interested in attending a similar event, we are programming a schedule of ecology and poetry workshops throughout the year  - these will be announced on our website shortly.