Green Hills Literary Lantern



A scientist, through diagrams and words,

can prove the bumblebee can’t fly. The Wright

Brothers, carefully noting flights of birds,

devised the formulas of lift and thrust:

and wings of bumblebees are just too light

for their weight. They fly not because they can—

we know they cannot—but because they must.


Likewise you'll find the scientific man

resilient through trial and error until

some law is proven so that what he might

do is converted into what he will:

he falls once, falls twice, then at last takes flight.


A man of faith has the same innocence

and arrogance, but from an ignorance

of ignorance, which, I believe, might cause

the gods to smile or bubble in guffaws;

but people, like the crowd at Kitty Hawk

or physicists paused on a nature walk

observing bees, burst into bright applause.



James B. Nicola, winner of three poetry awards and recipient of one Rhysling and two Pushcart nominations, has published over 450 poems in GHLL, Atlanta Review, Tar River, Texas Review, &c. A Yale grad and stage director by profession, his book Playing the Audience won a Choice Award. First full-length collection: Manhattan Plaza, is scheduled for 2014.


More of his work is available at