There used to be bumbling bees.
Wasps wading in jam, paddling in beer,
moths dashing themselves on lightbulbs,
daddy-long-legs dancing in and out of shadows.
They used to be inscrutable.
An angry insect’s hard to read, tangled up in hair,
caught up in a sleeve, in hot pursuit of a picnic,
preserved as a juicy splat across a windscreen.
They used to be so beautiful.
Picking and choosing from colours and shapes
glosses and finishes, wings and appendages
other creatures were too abashed to wear.
There seemed to be so many of them.
The midges that materialised at sunset,
columns of ants constructing communities,
branches draped with buntings of butterflies.
They seemed utterly indispensable.
Fussing over flowers, visiting every stamen,
enabling reproduction, disposing of the dung,
endlessly producing everlasting honey.
But they were guilty of heinous crimes
against humanity, descending on our crops,
making holes in our valuable vegetables,
taking up residence in pristine fruit.
So, we bravely chose to do without them,
took a generous slice out of the food chain,
massively downsized the planet’s workforce, hopeful
that nature will find a way to take up the slack.
©Nick Barth 2018