Words & Music

 for Chris Watson

(I) Stahala’s translations

Huuuum: Aye, we have food & a queen

Dzi-dzi: Ach, our stores are dwindling

Wuh-wuh-wuh: Wow, we’re breeding!

Usiiir: Yes-sir, we’re fetching da water

Brr-brr-brr: Drone chucking out time again

Shiusi (swarm): Lust! Luft!

Shu-u-a (young bees): Going to come out & play?

Tu-tu-tu (young queen): I’m outta here!

Qua-qua-qua (young queens): We’re stuck inside

(II) Tone

Edwardes says
bees sing as
well as birds

though the bee's
choral symphony spans
more than an octave & a half
still, she is no soloist

Landois found
the wings’ vibration
produces a tone
varying between a
in the treble clef
dropping to e
when out of breath

Marey recorded an octave
   lower than a

 (III) Sense +

Porter thought
the antennae
an organ of sense
beyond any sense
that we possess

T. W. Cowan, The Honey Bee

(IV) after Curtis Roads 



the glisson
of spraying water

the grainlet
of crunching gravel

the trainlet
of a gurgling brook

the voicel
of rain pitter-pattering

the symlet
hiss of poured rice

the gaborette
of crackling ice

the toneburst
of a burning ember

the poetry
of humming bees

Curtis Roads, Microsound

(V) after Thoreau

until telegraphs


T. W. Cowan, The Honey Bee
Curtis Roads, Microsound
Henry David Thoreau, Walden