in gold-banded, furry rugby shirts –
underarmour sleeves pulled shiny-tight
over bulging black muscles.
Under fuzzy guts,
squeezed into glossy jet shorts
hugging four enormous bulbous thighs.
Darth Vador skull-cap
strapped close as exoskeleton.
But sporting a ridiculous pair of stag-night,
teensy-weensy Tinkerbell wings, for a laugh -
desperately whirring, hauling their hulking bulk
improbably into reluctant air –
Dangling, precarious: their own cumbersome burden.
Lumbering, bobbing, bumbling, bumping.
Lurching recklessly along, in a wandering silver halo.
Droning a drunken baritone - out of tune.
Comedy flying, but with dignity;
like a portly old wedding uncle, waltzing.
Such humming industry. Just trying, trying –
defying disastrous raindrop drop goals.
Erratic wind-tosses. Thieving people feeding,
eyes on the stolen sweet prize.
Mauling wasps. Fluttering rucks of fussy butterflies,
addicted to the same body-pumping nectar.
For the overwhelming pleasure of the score!
Supping conversion of summer light
into floral sugar: recycled gold.
Loving the rough touch of pollen: male spores.
cunning ultra-violet tactics -
unseen by evening’s sleepy referee
in the blinding smear of sunset.
Instructions, illuminated maps,
invisibly graffitied on the very petals
of open-mouthed flower crowds -
where they bow and butt
in a solitary scrum.
But all playing for Bumble Bee Team;
selflessly supportive, hive brothers -
for the Gold Cup of Honey:
Country and Queen.