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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 6, Number 4, December 2012


Carol Judkins
Carlsbad, California, U.S.A.


In front of me, this rectangular paper--white, glaring bright, spotless. I lift the pen as if to write. Nothing. Not a single movement of brain or pen. I try to still the fluttering anxiety that I may never again have anything to say. An old movie soundtrack plays. Eyes closed, I sink into winter.

I slip into the sleigh for a long trip to Varykino through the vast expanse of white, the crystalline stillness, the endless untouched Russian snow. I sit at Zhivago's desk with him, he with the tallow candle and a stack of Lara poems. The music soars, and he writes until the candle is a nub. I envy him. Maybe it is the flicker of the light. Maybe it is the middle of the night writing. Maybe it is that he is a poet.

cloisonne pen
poised above the page

I open my eyes and stare at the clock. Tired. Impatient. Still, ready. I light a candle, twirl the pen in my fingers. Then, a stirring. Hovering over the page, butterflies: nouns and verbs, adjectives swirling kaleidoscope bright. Dozens of them, awake and alive, color the page in soft landings.



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