Poem – ‘I am Full of Bees’

I am full of bees.


I am full of bees; every

cell of my being every

breath of my soul aches


and pains day and night

night and day ad infinitum.

Gravity is in league with


this illness; I’m pulled

down. Down towards the

centre, making my feet


heavy, dripping the atoms

that compose me, leaving

me heavy but with little


mass. And I’m tired; you

couldn’t even guess how

much I’m tired. I don’t


sleep. Never have. Mired

in that sinking sand I’ve

tried everything. Nothing


works. My opponent is

me; however the moods

make, take, me. I am


full of bees; each cell

buzzing with exhaustion,

creating a sea-swell of hell.




Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday




Today, again, I’m not me. Today,

again, I see reflections of elsewhere;

else-one. Some other to be. Buzzing

with a particle pulse of happening,

sampling on another level, distant.


Withdrawn and imagining how the

smooth cut of a wet stem makes

the flower undone. I’m not here

today; something is, but not me.

I am that close to the atom, see?







Today I’m not well.

The swell in my chest the

catching of breath, an over-


whelming anxious death

each second rests for a

hair’s breadth of


distance. Each nerve

flares and bristles, neurons

whistling; I’m a taut


shivering muster of endings.

Today I’m a mess of systems,

a total failure at existence:


there’s a tide pulling me in

and a mass of moods, outwards.



As well as holding down a (professional) job, I also ‘work’ as a poet. I wrote this poem 6 years ago, about the process of crashing: that sudden overwhelming drop into depression. It isn’t even a case of ‘the higher you are the further there is to fall’. It doesn’t seem to work like that, does it? A crash is always what it is, whatever ‘speed’ you might have been travelling at at the time.

The bird asked me:

How does the crash happen?

I replied:

It begins as a subtle,

idiotic skimming of feathers

about my head

but builds to a blind

thrashing of wings

pulping my whole


contorting even the

pose I hold, sitting.

The tree asked me:

How does the crash develop?

I replied:

The wind pulls me

this way and

that; grows from a

rustle to an angry

mob. It

envelops my head:

speech, nerves and




each to an infant

crawl when swaddled.

The rain asked me:

How dark does it become?

I replied:

My whole being

fights to preserve itself:

I feel the ambivalence of

wanting to live yet

being almost unable

to countenance

survival. I wish for

the whole world to

hold me; to swaddle

me in a bright blanket

made up of atoms

drawn from life itself.

The baby asked me:

How do you grow?

I replied:

In this state I barely

exist: pain wracks my

entire body, neck to

toes, head to

tips of cold fingers.

I go on only

because it’s dictated in

my genes. My DNA

tortures me, tying me

to life in these

episodes of



I asked myself:

Will you always go on?

I replied:

I’ll fight. What

else can I do?

There was no reply

this time.