KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 12: Summer 2019
Photo-Poem: 59 words
Ekphrastic Art + Poem
Climate Crisis

The Mystery of Disappearing Bees

by Roy Beckemeyer and Skyler Lovelace

The Mystery of Disappearing Bees, photo-poem by Roy Beckemeyer and Skyler Lovelace

Visual art by Skyler Lovelace, inspired by Roy Beckemeyer’s poem
Photo-poem copyrighted © 2017 by Lovelace and Beckemeyer. All rights reserved.

Missing bees are hollows of air surrounding 
flowers with swarms of regret. 
Pollen is wasting away like poetry 
written in forgotten languages. 
Where is the wage of the summer’s toil, 
the syrup of nectars distilled in the furnace 
of dancing bees? 
And why do these empty hexagons 
hold only the stark geometry 
of absence? 


—Photo-poem published previously in 2017 by River City Poetry in their Wichita Broadsides Project, which features “dynamic collaborations between Wichita Poets and Artists”; appears here with permissions from the poet and the artist. (Bios below.)

Photograph of honey bee drinking nectar (18 August 2017), by Roy Beckemeyer

Honey bee drinking nectar from Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum
(18 August 2017). Copyrighted © by Roy Beckemeyer. All rights reserved.

Roy Beckemeyer’s
Issue 12, Summer 2019

latest poetry collection is Stage Whispers (Meadowlark Books, 2018). His chapbook, Amanuensis Angel, comprises ekphrastic poems inspired by modern artists’ depictions of angels (Spartan Press, 2018). His first book, Music I Once Could Dance To (Coal City Press, 2014), was a 2015 Kansas Notable Book. He recently co-edited (with Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg) Kansas Time+Place: An Anthology of Heartland Poetry (Little Balkans Press, 2017). Beckemeyer lives in Wichita, Kansas and is a retired engineer and scientific journal editor. His work has been nominated for Pushcart, Best of the Net, and Best Small Fiction awards.

Skyler Lovelace
Issue 12, Summer 2019

is an artist in Wichita, Kansas who works in paints, pixels, and words. The midwestern landscape and wildlife, including bison, are frequent subjects in her work. Her literary work has been published in Poetry Magazine, Cutbank, and River City Poetry. Her photographs and paintings have appeared in The Georgia Review, Essay Daily, and KYSO Flash.

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