Monday, 27 July 2020

Busy as Bees

We were literally a hive of activity this week as we reflected on a sculpture by one of Artsenta's artists. This bee themed book sculpture by Trina was used as a prompt for our writing group. Firstly we were tasked with just describing what we could see in as much detail as we could manage. Then we wrote a second poem that included a more personal response to the object and what it might tell us or provoke in us. Thanks for the inspiration Trina!


The hexagonal hive sprays forth
a dozen
full flight, flapping (single wings).
Lozenge shapes loft (yellow, brown, orange, green)
over pale petals,
flowers written to the words of Only Love.

Page two hundred parts from two-oh-one (a separate leaf)
where woven ink-black ribbon divides
hive from flower.
Silvered soloist drones its double wings to its own tune.
Lost words in hexagons
replaced by floral foreign text.


A hive is solidly geometric
Strangers not welcome.
Research is defined, with open boundaries
a droning, buzzing reality
a tight framework of knowledge,
in the open paddock of the unknown.
Workers bringing in facts as food, for storage;
Building, building a wall of interlocking pieces,
food of the next generation.

-Kate Jenkins


Pages of paper
An open book
Flowers a plenty
So take a look.

The hive sits waiting
Bees flying near
Some coated in pollen
Like clothing they wear.

Some lie nearby
Alive or dead?
We cannot tell
Till they raise their heads.


`Busy, busy, busy'

Busy as a bee
So the saying goes
Busy in the sun
Or rain, hail, or snow.

From flower to flower
They flit each day
Picking up pollen
As they go on their merry way.

We love them for their honey
But fear them for their sting
Something they only use
When frightened by something.

We steal the honey
They make for their queen
No wonder they get annoyed
When we take all we can glean.

As we kill them with poison
We forget that they provide
An easy way to fertilise
As they spread pollen far and wide.

Without the bees
And other insects flying through
We would not have the crops
That provide food for me and you.

- Christine Philp

Invisible Poetry

This week's activity was inspired by a poetry competition run by the Dunedin Public Library. One of the competition categories is 'invisibility'. Three variations on the theme were presented for us to write a poem about: 1. A time when you felt invisible, 2. Having the power of invisibility, and 3. Something you can't see such as air, sound, feelings or thoughts. Most of us managed to complete two of the three. The poems made very thoughtful listening. 


Feeling invisible
Can be painful..

Seen t h r o u g h
And this hurt unseen

Is there a way?
A middle way
To be hurt and held
And safe

Is there a way
To be hurt 
And hold
One's self ?

- Pauline


There are things 
In this world
Only sensed
The perfume
Of the

- Pauline


Hope hangs in the air, unlifted
An invisible flag on an unseeable flagpole
High winds and storms batter at life
Shaking the air into waves and funnels, 
Threshing up doubt, fear and resistance
And within this churning foaming maelstrom
Hope lifts and flies, rampant, moving, fighting

-Kate Jenkins


If I could hear what others say
in the quiet places of their lives
I would cloak my self in invisibility
and not return.
My ears would turn to stone and
no more tell my mind their tale of joy or woe
My mind would burn from too much pain
not seen before, not noticed, & joy not learned
Their eyes I would not face, for fear of seeing
the accusations which would burn there.
Curtail contact, curtail speech, 
feel now embarrassment, shame, alone.

-Kate Jenkins


What is your customer number?
He asked me on the phone
I don't have a number
I reply as I groan.

Why can't you find my name
Hidden in your system?
Don't make me play this game
I beseech and plead with him.

We need to fit you in a box
Within our system framework
He says in a tone that mocks.
What an f''ing jerk!

How else can we do this?
There must be a way
I really do miss
When I was a name!

- Christine Philp


I see me
You see me
The same person
Yet different seeings.

You see hope
And possibilities
I don't.

You see confidence
And abilities
I minimise them.

You see smiles
And laughter
I can, sometimes.

Sometimes I wish
You could see the me I see
But then you wouldn't like me either.

Other times, I wish I could see me
As you see me
And not `yeah but' all the positives you see.

- Christine Philp

Today we feature one of our regular writers who has diligently written up the poems she has developed at the Artsenta Writer's Group ove...