Wasp and Bee Poetry


come to me
buzzing with honey thimble mouth
simple minded, complex
quick with pen, reddened aged ink
aged yet new, circular motion stopping
a wasp is nothing but one small sacrifice
writing for the good of all

whole world, whole story.
although the ink well is quite small.

Adina Burke is a spoken word artist and disability advocate from Minneapolis. She now lives in Fridley, Minnesota with her fiancé and nearly an ark full of animals. She has published two books and has written articles from a disabled perspective in order to assist allies in understanding. She enjoys going to concerts, hanging out with her critters and being a part of some good trouble. Currently she is working on perfecting a book about bees and Judaism. 

Adina Burke writing

These two poems, “Scroll” and “And She Appeased the Queen” are part of that as yet untitled book. When approaching Torah and the process of writing scrolls, we are taught to be grateful for every animal and every part of the process. While bees are respected for their work ethic and diligence, we often overlook the labor of the wasps that provoke the tree galls that are used to produce the Torah ink. Adina’s short book explores the meaning of “labor” and challenges what it means to contribute to the Jewish community.

And She Appeased the Queen

There was one who stood out from the rest. 

They say self-harm comes in many forms, 

but what happens when she sleeps and there is an Orchid she is not tending to?

Bees communicate by dancing, so how does one dance out their suicide attempt, that despite not being a drone, they feel like one That for one moment, they hung like a tree. Thirsty for sweet goodness, and yet did not know that Honey is so much more than golden?