Skylab Stories

Poetry, Performance, Participation, Possibility. Based in South-West England. I write and perform poetry, and run workshops to get people writing poetry together.

First Bee Ceilidh and Bee-Flower Dialogues August 21, 2013


Returned from Green Man on Monday – which was an utterly lovely festival experience: the event is brilliantly well run, with a perfect mix of types of music and other arts to rove around experiencing. And such lovely people, everywhere!

On Friday and Saturday, I was up to run the first sessions in the Einstein’s Garden Workshop Dome (wherein were various arts-science happenings took place throughout the fest), with the inaugural Bee Ceilidh on Sunday afternoon.

As expected, the Ceilidh was quite chaotic and anarchic – so I’m looking forward to more of that (with some clearer explanations of the choreography from me!) this weekend at Towersey Festival, as part of the Sculpture Village

Until then, here’s a couple of the pieces that came out of the workshops – some dialogues between flowers and bees…The italics are bees, the non-italics are flowers.

They were written by independently writing five questions (bees – what do you want to know about the flower?) and five statements (flowers – you want to sound like the best flower in the world!), then reading them in order. There’s an odd (sad? lost?) poetry in asking questions that never get answered, or making statements which do not answer the questions…


Garden Interview 1


How would you guarantee a soft landing on your petals?

I stand head above every other flower in the garden.


What was the first song you sang this morning?

I radiate a kaleidoscope of pink that is sure to tickle your buzzer.


When do you usually bloom?

My petals are perfectly shaped to protect you from that autumn breeze.


Have you moved gardens lately? 

I am all over the place: I have cousins in every field and paddy,

up and down the country.


In a sentence, please describe your pollen and rate it on a delicious factor?

My pollen is neverending – you can feast for days.


(One of the participants from the next piece had clearly been reading about particular flowers which have evolved to capture flies – by producing…certain smells…)


Garden Interview 2


How sweet is your nectar?

I don’t attract bees.


Will you intoxicate me?

I smell like a dead horse.


Will your stripes guide me?

I feel like a dead horse.


When will you unfurl?

I look like a dead horse.


Can I get nectar from you?

I adapted to  get flies attracted to me.


How curious and macabre, yet entertaining – perhaps that girl will go on to have a career in carnivorous plant research…?

Thanks to all those who took part in both the workshops and the Bee Ceilidh.

Hopefully there’ll be some photos of the Ceilidh soon – in which case, I’ll post them, or a link to them, on here.

This weekends will hopefully have the added visual benefit of ANTENNAE for dancers. Oh yes…

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One Response to “First Bee Ceilidh and Bee-Flower Dialogues”

  1. ADDENDUM: Here’s a run-down of some of those flowers which smell (look? taste? feel?) like a dead horse, or like other gross stuff – amazing!

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