Adam David Miller



Once Loved      


They say if you ever loved, there is

always some love left.  Through the storms

you do remember sun.  What is there,

now that flesh and bone have given way

to ashes, dust to dust?


How now to recall one summer evening,

dusk on the horizon, high above

the rocky precipice, two pairs of eyes

one pair grey, one black

swing slowly from each other

to the sea and back?

July 6, 2002





I Hoped You Would Stay



I wanted you to come and you did.

You came and you stayed,

then you left.


I hoped you would come and you came.

You came, you stayed and  stayed,

then  you went away.


I prayed you would come but you didn’t.

I begged you to come but you wouldn’t.


I look to see the sway in your walk,

or your skip.  After all, it is Spring,

when sap rises, and geese return.


You took our dream when you left,

When you left you took my breath.


I see them now these words of love

implanted under the hill, that opened

the leaf, the bud, the flower,

the forever never words no doubt can faze.


You go but you can never leave.

Spirit is in the rock, the tree,

rush of the wind, the sea.

I wanted you to come, you came,

you did, and stayed, in me.




San Francisco Bio-Regional


I am at home in The City,

move around mostly on foot or by train; find it

too dangerous to ride my bicycle.


The peregrine falcon loves The City’s

Mutual Life Benefit building, dives from its top

at 200 mph to snatch and scatter pigeons

who shit on critical mass cyclists

bunched at Freedom and Bind.


These cyclists, brash, young and brave,

brave pigeon-shit, cop-batons

and the screams of grid-locked drivers.


The falcons play good offense:

Take what the defense gives you.


Pigeons flutter, fall; falcons plunge, perch,

feed them to open-mouthed young

screaming for benefits.

waiting on Mutual Life .


Pigeons need protection,

insurance against falcons.

Signs on the building promise insurance

against earthquakes, floods, even famine –

but falcons, peregrine falcons?


I want insurance

against Mutual Life.





Time is a Life Drawing Artist



Time is a life drawing artist,

using age to sculpt arms, hips, legs

that drop straight down, rivulets

through the map of my face.

Time, age, these givers and takers,

maul me.  I would like to say they give

more than they take.  My curves, bounce,

sharpness of eye, for a different sight,

not only muscles that cramp, bones that ache.

Time is a life drawing artist.  Artists experiment

in search of a new order.  We expect some

of these experiments to fail.




Trips to the Beach and the Barre



There is democracy at work

on a beach and

at an exercise barre.

No place to hide.  All your

money can not unpot your round belly

or puff out your shrunk shank.


The young and healthy see themselves

as the aristocrats of these spaces.

Youthful bodies claim center stage,

while their owners swagger

in appearances all too brief.


They ignore the short life of fully

formed flowers as they strut.

Time, nature’s blessing, also is its curse.

No one escapes.


Such frenzy in their motions,

as though they fear their magic mirror

will show them transformed to slack-bellied

proletariat too soon.







of the upbeat « hello »

though shy, says, « Look at me. »


willing to boost

while needing a boost



late student,

dancer, swift

humming bird

her totem



striving to make up

for time lost



prides her competence

counts their money

as she would

her own


« like handling any other paper. »


dreams many lives

when she thinks

no one watches


elbow on counter

chin in

palm of hand

eyes beyond

the street


the sky


would love

to be harbored

but working

and willing

to sail













Has worked in support of the arts community of Northern California for four decades as writer, teacher, editor, publisher, radio & television programmer and producer,poet & memoirist. His Dices or Black Bones, 1970 was named best anthology by the California Association Teachers of English; Forever Afternoon, 1953 was awarded the Naomi Long Madgett first national poetry award; his memoir, Ticket to Exile, was finalist in the Northern California Book Awards for creative non-fiction and a finalist in the William Saroyan International Literary Competition both in 2008; was awarded the Berkeley Poetry Poetry & Arts Festival and  PEN-Oakland Lifetime Achievement Awards. He is at work on Fall Rising, Exile to Odyssey, Ticket’s sequel Miller is at home in Berkeley is at home with his wife philosopher sound healer S. Elise Peeples and his cat Momentito Morris.



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