Competition Winner, Second Prize: 'Bees and Heritage' by Andrew Findell-Aghnatios

Our second prize for our inaugural For Pity Sake Short Story and Poetry competition goes to Andrew Findell-Aghantios for his stirring poem 'Bees and Heritage'. Congratulations to Andrew, who moved all the judges and made this an irresistible offering.  Check out yesterday's third prize winner here and check back tomorrow for the first prize winner!

I always wondered

How something so old

Could keep being reborn.

If that’s what happens

All the time, what’s the point

Of continuity?


Why not just pack your bags

And catch some flight to an

Isle that yearns to be named,

Knowing that when you return

You can start

All over again?


How free that would make you!

How liberating never to be

Tied down, trapped

Within the constraints of time,

Of history,

Of heritage...


My heritage lies in a land

That knows only rebirth.

Built from a buffalo hide and

The verdant deserts of

Northern Africa,

We came to where we are.


Our alphabet sold, we built

Temples to Jupiter.

Our temples razed, we built

Monasteries cut from

Wizened mountains;

We fashioned wombs.


And when that war was over,

We once again emerged to see

Cedars crowning through the snow

And the blood,

As strident as the day we made

Our flag.


All our continuity ends with

Each breeze, and rises once more

From the bee’s road

That winds through our

Hearts, gifting us with

Milk and honey.


The annals of history ruined me

With their banality.

I read through books

that held my country

In their pages

And tore it from me.


6, 086, 184 People;

10, 452

Square kilometres;


Years of formal independence.


Younger than my

Teta. So she must

Know all about

The beginning of

My heritage.

Such a young heritage.


I left the library, sadness

Filling my past, overwhelming

My now. –Suburban Australia–

Far away from home,

A breeze

Whispered through my tangled hair.


It carried with it

The scent of

Buffalos and Jupiter.

Wombs and cedars.


And heritage.


It wrapped me,

Like a babe in my teta’s arms,

Waiting for me

To open my eyes.

Pushing me

To open my eyes.


“Nothing begins anew,

That has not lived.”