Latest Flight:
40 Below Poems / February 2014

The latest cycle of The Poetry Route has hit the road.

This cycle features poems from the recently released 40 Below Anthology, a collection of poetry, prose and art that celebrates winter in Edmonton. In the words of editor Jason lee Norman:

The aim of this project was to collect words, stories, and artwork about and inspired by the city of Edmonton in winter. The idea is that while winter in our city can be harsh at times, our experience with it is also something quite unique. It can also be a time of year that inspires art and people coming together.

By all measures, the project was a rousing success, so it naturally follows that a 40 Below Anthology – Volume 2 is in the works, and this time the submission call is open to all writers and artists across Alberta! Check out that link for more details.

For your reading pleasure, The Edmonton poetry Festival and Edmonton Transit present the poems that are currently making the rounds on Edmonton Transit busses.

This cycle of The Poetry Route features poems from 40/Below, Edmonton’s Winter Anthology, edited by Jason Lee Norman.

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

I slipped into the ice fog

Coating myself with denser air

My hand burning from the doorknob

The lights kept me lonely

As I walked through snow

Punishing my lungs

With ice-tipped air

The ravens just stared

Straddling streetlights

Their backs heavy with frost

·   ·   ·

Jannie Edwards

Who was it who said

Happiness writes white?

Bring on the blizzards!

Harness the sled dogs!

·   ·   ·

In This Too A Strange Beauty (excerpt)
Anna Mioduchowska

It’s February, winter sun about to die

in a band of cloud eager to deliver
the bitter weight it has ferried across the Rockies.

A snow plow shrieks by — its blade

would do Hephaistos proud — flurry of sparks,

the surface scraped so it hurts to look.

Headlights scurry in pairs more or less

aligned, the ears inside each vehicle

plugged into singular frequencies,

each heart a brazen anvil.

·   ·   ·

Oh, Edmonton
Diana S. Adams

Ice crunch of tires scares

magpies to the tops of trees

her hat’s knit like a cake

his, a small animal

that could have survived winter

it’s too cold for conversation

stored words
keep them warm.

·   ·   ·

No Winter

Brad Kennedy

i am withdrawing into my hoodie

like a turtle into its shell

and i am pretending i am in a cave

and the cave is far away and not on this bus

with this city skittering by outside the windows

and from the inside of my cave

i am texting you so that you can be in
here too

just us, warm, in the cave

no winter

·   ·   ·

First On Jasper
John Leppard

Jasper and 4th and my focus is down

Down on my feet, down as in town

Buses and cars chase each other around

Sticky old eyes glued to the ground

Tickle me this as a snowflake lands

Like a whisper upon the back of my hand

Flurry and fling … Boy, it’s still good to know

My tongue hasn’t lost
Its knowing of snow

·   ·   ·