SWWIM publishes, celebrates, & promotes women, women-identifying & Femme-presenting writers through a Miami-based reading series & the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.

Icons, Limonos Monastary by Milla van der Have

Saints here are everywhere

but they're strange ones, give or take


      - their names barely familiar

their miracles mostly unheard of

their creed whetted on sea-crested hills

   and a promise of salt. -


They group the walls of the chapels and

draw the faithful in long black droves,

carrying food and their sunday smiles,

as they trickle in like prayer beads

one by one, to the repetitive

kyrie eleison and the sweet strokes

of incense and petals.


They linger in old stones, the holy ones,

their eyes cast always on the heavens

as if scrutinizing a great canvas

that may yet reveal the secrets of liberation,

the one art they couldn't master.

Milla van der Have (1975) wrote her first poem at 16, during a physics class. She has been writing ever since. One of her short stories won a New Millennium Fiction Award. In 2015 she published Ghosts of Old Virginny, a chapbook of poems about Virginia City. Her work has been published in Word Riot, Rust + Moth, Foliate Oak, Stirring, Cape Rock, By & By Poetry, Apple Valley Review, and Mud Season Review. Milla lives in Utrecht, The Netherlands, with her wife and 2 rabbits. 

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