the bees

Pick among them who fly from
late flower to late flower,
searching for nectar
at the approach of high summer.
I’m careful to keep my hands
within the green and branch tangle–

if I approach from inside, I am like a bee;
they feel no threat.
But if I approach from above,
perhaps I become this looming shadow
acting out a myth of the death of the sun.

Then who wouldn’t act
as they would at the sudden dusk
and fight the future? They don’t know
how delicate this enormous skin
to my eclipsing body really is.
How I am not untouchable.
I can be stung.


Poem by John Miller

John Miller’s poetry has appeared in Wingless Dreamer, Wax Poetry and Art, Third Wednesday: A Literary & Arts Journal, Not a Pipe Publishing’s anthology Shout, River Heron Review, catheXis northwest press, The Esthetic Apostle, and in the 9Bridges anthology Over Land and Rising. His short fiction has appeared in Tethered by Letters. John is founder of Portland Ars Poetica, an ongoing literary poetry collective, as well as co-organizer of the Free Range Poetry reading series, and a volunteer board member of Willamette Writers. John has lived in Portland, Oregon since 2012.

He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and has a degree in English from Amherst College.