King Bee Blues

When I thought that I might begin to consider to be a poet, when I fifteen and sixteen, I started as a song writer, in 1975, and the form of music that attracted me – very much so – was, and is, the blues. And so, this is a poem, but it’s also a song, and it’s titled ‘King Bee Blues’.

I’m an ol’ king bee, honey,
Buzzin’ from flower to flower.
I’m an ol’ king bee, sweets,
Hummin’ from flower to flower.
Women got good pollen; I get some every hour.

There’s Lily in the valley
And sweet honeysuckle Rose too;
There’s Lily in the valley
And sweet honeysuckle Rose too.
And there’s pretty black-eyed Susan,
Perfect as the night is blue.

You don’t have to trust
A single, black word I say.
You don’t have to trust
A single, black word I say.
But don’t be surprised
If I sting your flower today.


from Whylah Falls (Gaspereau Press, 2010), © George Elliott Clarke 1990, used by permission of the author and the publisher

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Recordings

George Elliott Clarke Downloads

1Watercolour for Negro Expatriates in France

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2Look Homeward, Exile

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3The Wisdom of Shelley

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4The River Pilgrim: A Letter

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5King Bee Blues

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6Blank Sonnet

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7Blues for X

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8Everything is Free

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9Chancy’s Menu

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10Chancy’s Drinking song

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11Ballad of a Hanged Man

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12Hard Nails

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13The Killing

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14Negation

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15Haligonian Market Cry

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16I. v

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17IV. ii

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18VI. i

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19À Bellagio (II)

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20La Vérité à Ottawa

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21La Vérité à Ottawa (II)

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22Lust Tussle

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23Girl

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24IX/XI

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25Jean Chrétien

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26I - Calypso

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27I - Blues & Jazz

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28II - Blues & Jazz

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29II - Reggae

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30I - Anastacia

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31III - Oxum

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32To the Poet

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33'Quemada!'

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34I Loved You Once

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35James Brown’s Rhetoric

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36Tomcat/Pussycat Blues

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37Sestina April

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38‘Decisione’

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39Taxi

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40from Traverse I – VIII

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41Valentine

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42Au Tombeau de Dante By Othello

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Books by George Elliott Clarke