Greg Miller

Dec 31, 2011 No Comments by Sea Stories


I am a skeleton

on a skeleton of white rock

slipping to blue.

A bull’s broad, angry breathing

under me, not the sea

in a cave through a blow hole,

mist lifting off the sea in sheets

that curl up, like breath:

the voice speaks what it sees

and takes.  It is one voice.

It bellows.  It wants

to trample me down.  It is free.


I pass the first calanque, its white

rock-sheltered beach, to a path between

two hills, hearing chats and serins

when I stop, pollen-dusted finches

like hummingbirds in the pine cones.

I think I’ve found a path through heaths

though I can’t call this dry rock, broom’s

bloom, and rosemary’s blue a heath.

The gray-white cliffs lift bony knobs:

the needle,” “finger of God,” wind

blasting my face.  I take another path,

still up, over the rise, until I see

Aleppo pines clinging to cliffs

across a gorge—then white rock islands–

and I don’t kneel or fall but feel

like I might fall.  Gold shoots through blue

so I see spots.

*************I take switch-backs

down the cliff’s edge back. I grab at roots.

I sit trembling on a rock shelf

myself all I’m not all I am.


Greg Miller is Janice Trimble Professor of English at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. The University of Chicago Press has published three books of his poems, including his most recent Watch (2009), and his poems have appeared recently in Slate, The Anglican Theological Review, Spiritus, and are soon to appear in Tikkun.

Hibernal 2012, Littoral Currents

About the Editors

Casey R. Schulke grew up along the Kuskokwim River in a rural Athabascan village in Alaska fishing for king salmon and mushing her sled dog team. She now resides on the shores of Resurrection Bay in Seward, Alaska. Casey's a poet, a naturalist, a dog-lover, has two birds, and is married to a wonderful man.
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