ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem was sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette as part of the May half-price sale. It belongs to the series Queen Choufa and the Rebel Drones, which you can find via the Serial Poetry page.


"The Grateful Drones Come to the Aid of Queen Choufa and Her Army"


O Queen, you cast us out
When first the season turned,
But we survived and later
You and we were reconciled.
We have made our peace with you,
But now another threatens.

This morning as we labored (some
planting, other painting or
practicing music) in our garden
We heard the clatter of battle
Approaching. Your sharp-armed soldiers
Hastened our return to safety
And others stayed behind to face
The foe.

Carefully they herded us
Back here, along with many workers,
And before
They closed the door we saw
The enemy soldiers come.

We know, O Queen,
That you decided especially
To save us. You could have left us
Out to die again, but you can
See yourself in our selves now:
We have at last
Begun to be civilized.

But others fear the changes
That you bring! Do not forget
That "changemaker" is the vilest
Of insults. Arash-keen
Must hate you, or else
Admit you're right.

Your long-jawed soldiers
Held the lines back long enough
To see us here in safety,
But now the quick-clawed enemy
Assaults our very gate!
In the normal way of War, our Hive
Would lose only children for their slaves
(perhaps some food, with Winter
drawing near again).

But oh, my Queen, this War
Is not a normal one! She
Does not strive for slaves but
For the blood of me and mine! I
And all my brothers will have found
Our lives for nothing but to lose them,
If she has her way.

Yet the Winter would have killed us
If it could. We yet survive.
Tell me now, my Queen, do you recall
What happened when you set
Your soldiers on our trail? Though
We are small and not
To battle born, we learned to fight!

Look, my Queen, at this strip of skin:
If I place a pebble here and whirl it
Round my head, I can strike a blow
From many steps away! So I have done
To hunt for food, and also to defend.
My brothers and I, of necessity,
Learned to make such tools.
We call them "weapons."

Your army is small, O my Queen,
Compared with that of Arash-keen:
You and your Sisters are young yet,
And have not had the time
To hatch a larger one. Let me
And my brothers join your soldiers
Now! Our weapons are ready,
And we would show our gratitude.

Let Arash-keen and all her warriors beware:
We may be male, but we are mighty still!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-24 09:27 am (UTC)
sylvaine: Dark-haired person with black eyes & white pupils. (Default)
From: [personal profile] sylvaine
I'm surprised by how much I'm enjoying this series! Particularly the writing style.

Re: Yay!

Date: 2014-05-24 05:31 pm (UTC)
corvi: (Default)
From: [personal profile] corvi
I like the voice too, and the formal titles.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-05-24 03:09 pm (UTC)
ext_3294: Tux (Default)
From: [identity profile] technoshaman.livejournal.com
Innnnnteresting! One does not often think about the role of the female in Insecta... :)

Well...

Date: 2014-05-24 07:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
One interesting thing about social insects is they are heavily matriarchal. While only the queen is fertile, and thus the workers and soldiers and such are effectively neuter, the mass is primarily made of genetic females. The drones are rare and basically just used as sperm factories. So that has to create a totally different society than what humans have.

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-06-20 02:11 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
Have you ever read L. Sprague deCamps Rogue Queen?

It's about a alien, humanoid species that is set up that way. And how a group of rebels accidentally discovers a great biological secret. along with the consequences thereof.

Oh yeah, there's a party of human scientists involved too, but they are actually more of a backdrop.

Re: Well...

Date: 2017-06-20 10:17 am (UTC)
kengr: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kengr
It's one of those oddities from the 50s that dances around sex. I encountered it when I was too young to catch the innuendo.

But it was an ok story. and the biology was interesting.

Just checked my ebook copy. It's copyright 1951. It's set in the Viagens universe that much of his SF was set in. But the scientific expedition is pretty much all we see of that.

Most of it is from the view of a few natives. So we get an idea of their culture and history. And get set up for the surprise.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viagens_Interplanetarias has some good background and a lot of non-spoilery info about Rogue Queen.

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