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.



  • June 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Escape at the Speed of Transience
      by Peter Halpin
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Second Place

      The Palace Hotel
      by Paul A. Freeman
      The Write Idea

      Third Place

      Camping
      by Mike LaForge
      The Waters

  • May 2020 Winners

    • First Place

      Burying My Brother
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Waters

      Second Place

      The Asian man who walks past the balcony
      by Daniel J. Flore III
      Babilu

      Third Place

      Five Hundred Yards from Home
      by Richard Moorhead
      Wild Poetry Forum