This past fall we opened submissions for our latest round of bus poems. The theme was “Urban Wildlife”, and here’s what we asked for:

Write us a poem about wildlife in the city! We want to see words about the friendly neighborhood Magpie, the fleet-of-foot Fox you glimpse out your window, and the white Rabbits nestled in the snow outside your door. Has your Cat been dive-bombed by Crows? What do you see when you run through the river valley? Which creatures have invaded your back alleys? This city is rich with wildlife and we want you to write us a poem about those wild creatures we all love, or love to hate!

We received a lot of great submissions, and we are pleased to announce the winning authors and their poems. Congratulations to all our winners, and special thanks to all who submitted their to this round of The Poetry Route.

Revising the Magpie
by Myrna Garanis

Check out that no-account bird whose seasonal friends
all fled when the snowing got rough. He borrows his style
from 1940s films where silver-tongued Cary Grant
feathered his nest dressed in impeccable suits.

That bird’s got mayhem on his mind, or he wouldn’t
doll up so snazzy, treating my street like it’s Hollywood’s
Red Carpet, preening his way to forgiveness.

Myrna Garanis is one of five contributing Edmonton poets to Eyeing the Magpie published by Five Magpie Press.


Canada Goose at City Centre
by Don Perkins

Head high in a proud
periscopic swivel,
this waddling incongruity,
out-of-step distraction
for lunch-hour amblers, …

… settles, stakes his claim:
rules our civic concrete
pool and pad passable
stand-ins for the wild

Don Perkins teaches classes in creative non-fiction writing, Canadian literature, and popular culture in the English and Film Studies Department at U. of A.


Rossdale, April
by Trudy Grienauer

Below the Ledge,
Friday’s fresh snow
melted quickly.
Coyote tracks
trickled back
into hard brown soil

Trudy Grienauer is a member of the Stroll of Poets, who is often inspired by the river valley and the change of seasons.


Pigeon pen pals
by Marco Melfi

You wouldn’t like the winters, lack of piazzas
or all these yakking magpies, but the places to eat
are endless. Whenever peckish we circle receptacles
or scavenge the rock-salted rubbish. You’d like the height
the city’s getting up to: more high-rises mean more nests
and ledges to rest on. And despite the feral title,
our clade, clad in pale blue-grays, are proud urbanites –
city dwellers since we were squabs. So come visit
and send our regards to the guys in St. Mark’s.

Marco Melfi’s In Between Trains, published in 2014, won the Sharon Drummond Chapbook Award. He is a member of the Stroll of Poets, and has a poem sandblasted in a sidewalk.