Bees in Thin Hours

by Nanette Rayman River
The Critical Poet
Honorable Mention, February 2007
Judged by Pascale Petit


The ache will find me near white flowers, yes, white and magenta in the projects

I find bees gunning down the humble Silent Ladies Tresses displaced here among

a thousand brides in water, seven thousand in cement – kneeling beside me.

We lie like an argument against the pavement, listen to the bees’ decrescendo,

how they bear witness against a life soured, doors firmly closed to any light

I could turn to. How it evaporates quickly in this oven of shadows, news to broadcast

that won’t be heard. Who to cry to and how to cry? The blackflies are biting

your soft under-bicep, honey, and the clouds are singing. Our vast deaf ears

lay ringing beside dead brides. These are thin hours when bees buzz in the outskirts

of lives never meant to happen– like this. A sudden hush catches us off guard,

makes mephitic fervor of the night, without whiff of why. We curl useless legs around

poor sky. Our last magenta inhalation. There are no words.



  • February 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      Not a Poem of Crows
      by Ken Ashworth
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Resolution to Laugh More
      by F.H. Lee
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      The Nowhere
      by Erwin Fernandez
      Wild Poetry Forum

  • January 2019 Winners

    • First Place

      How the Wind Works
      by Alison Armstrong-Webber
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Sleep Walker
      by Brenda Levy Tate
      PenShells

      Third Place

      The Woman Who Grew up in My House Finds Me on Facebook and Comes to Take a Look Around
      by Antonia Clark
      The Waters