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Did you wave at the train
with its shrill keen,
as it went its own creaking way
into the distance of money?
Did you wave at the train
with its grim, receding aria?
The men who work trains
come from the borderline  —
Needles, Winslow, Modesto;
pine for the wild flesh of Alaska,
Seattle with its bracelet
of green islands,
anywhere tracks will take them.
They ride the rails
into the black tunnels
of  broken imaginations.
Some will never look up
where you, cold-eyed as a bird,
speed through clouds
in the silent altitude of years,
miles above the engineer’s
aging ranchera music,
the burnt grids of track-worn cities,
skinny Vegas nudity of the tourist desert,
miles above a snaking, lovelorn train’s
fading whistle.

Georgia Jones-Davis is the author of a chapbook, Blue Poodle (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in numerous publications including West Wind,  The Bicycle Review,  Nebo, Ascent Aspirations, Brevities and South Bank Poetry, London. New work will appear in the fall 2013 issue of Eclipse.

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Bird Song

for Sydney

Waiting out winter like
waiting for a phone call,
half past February…

like a ring tone
in the name of Spring,
we hear this warbling.

That one, you say,
that’s my fave…
and instantly, I hear

the bird song, as I see
you, sitting on the couch,
eyes closed, listening,

teacup in hand, smiling…
a thin break in the eggshell:
beak behind your lips.

Victoria Dym is a graduate of Ringling Brother’s Barnum and Bailey Clown College, has earned a BA, in Philosophy, from Pitt, and her MFA in Creative Writing-Poetry at Carlow University.

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The evening rides a

Sapphic sky:  Venus

And Diana  rising


By Side.

O cupped silver, keeper of my anger

In these angry days;

I am sick of Light!

The snow-fed glare,


Of roaring stars!

Give me

Removed moon, pale night and

Let me


Karen Marie Christa Minns is a Gemini writer flying between jobs, family, friends and destiny. (So far, she hasn’t landed.)  Contact info: karenminns@yahoo.com. blog: STREETRAP  http://karenmariechristaminns.blogspot.com

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Instructions for Wooing

I don’t want to wear rocks on my hands—
or metal, or anything dug from the earth.
I want my hands naked, I want my nails short,
I want nothing between us—no symbol, no law,

no metal, or anything dug from the earth.
No backbreaking labor, no three-carat deals—
I want nothing between us—no symbol, no law,
no grand proclamations, no bells, no expense,

no backbreaking labor, no three-carat deals,
no flowers, not anything torn from its roots,
no grand proclamations, no bells, no expense,
just this, just this: your skin, my skin.

No flowers! Not anything torn from its roots!
I want us unpolished, unvarnished, undone.
Just this, just this: your skin, my skin.
I’ll wear your hands instead of a gown.

I want us unpolished. Unvarnish! Undo!
I want your hands naked. I want your nails short.
Oh! Your hands! Instead of a gown.
I don’t want to wear rocks on my hands.

Sarah Maclay’s newest release is Music for the Black Room (UT Press). Her poems appear in APR, Ploughshares, FIELD, Poetry Daily, VerseDaily, The Best American Erotic Poems: 1800 to the Present, Poetry International and elsewhere. She teaches at LMU. www.sarahmaclay.com

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Afternoon Walks in Winter

Was it because the days are short
and meaningful and the nights will
be spent fitful with the scent
of burnt pallets that I am reminded
of your christening?

Or was it when I realized the breathe I held
would never pass between yours lips in time
and because the riverbed cannot
remember the cooling crush of rain
that I was left hesitant to ask.

Do the winds from the south speak more slowly to you?
Are birds aware they migrate in symbols of lesser or
greater degrees? How does the sparrow let you
touch her in death? I wasn’t certain I should ask;
you are after all only three.

Dylan C. Gailey‘s “Afternoon Walks in Winter” is her
second poem featured through WAW’s Poem of the Month.
She is also a student and teacher of Kundalini Yoga.

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When the floods come
I swim to it.

From the stew
of water, my arms

loop and wheel, frantic
for that large mahogany slab.

Parachutes of waves
all around, I barely keep

afloat. This tsunami,
this ocean is full of debris.

I must have wandered
from shore again.

I glide and finally reach
its chipped edges. Glorious

boards and drawers,
my rectangular lifeboat:

I jump on its strong back,
lie down, breathe

and say, Thank you.
The rocking settles.

I say listen, there’s so much
to tell, so much I’ve seen

in my wanderings.
I have been swimming for days.

Lory Bedikian’s The Book of Lamenting was awarded the 2010 Philip Levine Prize for Poetry. She earned her MFA in Poetry from the University of Oregon and teaches poetry workshops.

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The Burning Bush

For weeks, I searched for a sign that it was over—
my rage or mourning, whichever came first.

I dug holes in the ground and covered the bulbs
with mulch. Then I waited. If something grew there,

I’d know I’d been granted. But earth doesn’t respond
like that; there’s nothing human in its language.

Words came to me, but they seemed the symptom
of something deeper. And then I saw it: blue-red

in the October sun, the color of a pomegranate
seed when light passes through it, or the amber-red

of a young Arbois, honey-red, yet bitter. It lit
the yard with the intensity of a dream, only I knew

its leaves weren’t burning. Neither god nor prophet
it spoke to me, but what it meant I couldn’t decode.

Reader, there are those who would say
I shouldn’t address you directly, but this is not

that kind of poem—Frostian, dark, with a touch
of sardonic humor. Without you, I speak to the chasm.

Sublime, indifferent, the bush taunted me, its fire-
flecked voices I couldn’t answer, its quivering vowels

slaking off heat. How was I to translate? I could say
it represented the untenable, the ineffable,

all that I had faltered or failed in (this gift to you,
my raspy hunger, the miniature graves I dug

in the hope for flower, my sad little conscience
pulling up weeds), but that would be untrue. Listen:

It’s nearly winter and the bush is still burning.
In rage or mourning, I have failed you.

Elizabeth Knapp is the author of The Spite House (C&R Press, 2011), winner of the 2010 De Novo Prize for Poetry. The recipient of the 2007 Discovered Voices Award from Iron Horse Literary Review, she has published poems in Best New Poets 2007, The Massachusetts Review, The Mid-American Review, Barrow Street, and many other journals. She holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars and a PhD from Western Michigan University and is currently Assistant Professor of English at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, where she lives with her husband and son.

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