A. D. Miller poet

A.D. Miller has published five books of poetry: 


The Sky is a Page, (Eshu House Publishing, Berkeley, CA, 2009); 

Land Between, (Eshu House Publishing, 2000); 

Apocalypse is My Garden, (Eshu House Publishing, 1997); 

Forever Afternoon, (Michigan State University Press, 1994: Winner of the first Naomi Long Madgett Poetry Award, 1994);

Neighborhood and Other Poems, (Mina Press, 1992.)

For copies of these books, contact Elise Peeples


LITTLE BLACK GIRL, 1907, 1927, 1937, 1967 . . .
Black little girl
Black little girl
  Ploo! ploo!
Black little girl
Not black
  Ploo! ploo!
But Brown
You wait, you’ll see
You haven’t been down
In the world enough
Just wait Till
You come up for white
You’ll see
  Ploo! ploo!

Good Friday on Bear Valley Trail, 1978

Leaving the City

Is easy enough

Aim the car


Over the bridge

Escaping the City

Is something else

When I carry my desk

On my back

My head stuffed

With dates and digits

Takes awhile for the trail

To work its stimulation

Into the cracks and creases

Takes time for the earth

To come up and meet each step

Takes time for worry to wend its way

Down, down through the week’s misery

Into the black clay and the small stones

On the trail

I meet my Shadow*

Blossoms convert

Color for gloom

In quiet places

Yellow iris

Purple iris

Mestizo iris

A civil wilderness

Living is elimination

Of what is dead in me

Inspiration in hanging moss

And lichen centered on rock

Creating soil

Redemption in rhododendron

My eyes bounce

From dogwood

To alder and bay

And back and back

I smell the downed oak

Freshly cut legacy

Of the last storm

Will I need

To follow this trail

To where it ends

In the sea?

Will I need to wash

In its water

To be clean?

*In Ibo cosmology there is a shadow world identical to our own.



Yes, he was happy to take our picture,

digging the hole to plant

that tree in People’s Park.


He was neater than most of us,

clean shaven, smooth chocolate skin,

his natural trimmed like a crew cut.


No, he didn’t work for the Chronicle,

kind of free lancer.  If we gave him

our names, he would send us copies.


Weeks passed and we heard nothing,

nothing, that is, from him.  But we read

that those amongst us most gung ho,


oinking the loudest at the “pigs,” egging us

on to smash the windows even of our friends,

those super-duper “killem” shouters,


were John Laws, spread eagle scouts

and inner spy men, sent to play us cheap,

mess us up.  And most of them took photos

for their files.

Photo credit: Peggy Ho