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 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Homeless
      by J.J. Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum