There are poetry workshops up and down the country and there are many poetry competitions going strong- some in places you would never imagine- yet still school children are taught the metrical classics of all the usual suspects. There are a couple of little-known rhymeteers out there that should be put into the syllabus. One such poet is the daring, modern, superbly sculpted pastoral poems of Mr B Keeper.
Take his delightful evocation of a summer day in his high-flying poem, Kite. One notices immediately the spirit of love that oozes from every line. There is genuine admiration for the bee species. Wordsworth and his Daffodils are old hat compared to this.
Farther down, in the pleasant green
I spied a flying ship with a sting
And I recoiled first, before disarming
For this was no predator
No preening matador
Its masts were set sail to sail with glee
And it hugged on the tree
The bee embraced the flowers round the bark
And on its body bore a kitemark
No matter what style or subject Keeper tried his hand at, verse-wise, bees were always hovering in the background. Take his savage poem, My Neighbour, as an example. Based on the jealousy he has toward his more successful neighbour, his attempt to seduce his rival’s wife was abandoned when he found out how cruel she was. Keeper ends up telling his neighbour he can keep her.
Knocking at my rival’s door because I know he won’t be in at this time
His wife answers and she’s got knockers like Diana Dors in her prime
She wears tight denims and kinky knee-length boots that I drool upon
I pray for her to take the boots and jeans off and put the boots back on
Quickly, with a rolled up paper in her hands she approaches me menacingly
I duck then there’s a loud buzz and a huge swish as she swats a bee
Literary feuds are commonplace and B Keeper’s bete noire is the current poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Duffy produced a work of poetry called The Bees which almost led to a pistols at dawn arrangement. Keeper was devastated that someone, especially one so highly-regarded, had stolen his whole reason for being. I’m the original and the best, claimed Keeper. He contacted Duffy and an epistolary correspondence began between the two poets. The letters that Keeper sent grew more frantic and violent toward the plagiaristic Duffy. The final missive ended with the chilling threat that Keeper told Duffy she’d wake up one day with a bee’s head at the bottom of her bed.
This year the Duchess of Cambridge will deliver a Royal baby. On such a momentous occasion the poet laureate will write an official poem to mark the event. B Keeper is feverishly at work on an unofficial work to usurp Duffy the fraudster. His work is provisionally called -This great pollination of ours. Good luck to Mr Keeper.