Song for Stamm Woodlot by Rosemary Clewes

Poem title: Song For Stamm Woodlot
Poet name: Rosemary Clewes
Poem: A milkweed pod on a brittle stalk
leans toward me out of tangled grass		her
split heart 
                  a poured cup
                                             a done vessel
emptied now of seeds the wind stole. 

I have seen death a few times. 
                                            	      It is always 
unmistakable: the dry husk of hope 
that remains after love expires. And once 
I saw two stiff-legged cows 
inert on the floor of the huntsman’s hut.

Before cosmeticians learned to dress it up 
                                                                    	    pallor had dignity. 
I was three when my father lifted me  
to look at my grandmother 
still in her best, dark dress on a white satin bed.

I did not understand the words if I even heard them,
but like wind’s sudden hush 
                                                    her peace invaded me.
End of poem. 
Credits and bio: Copyright © Rosemary Clewes
Previously published Rain on My Skin (Aeolus House 2023). 
Rosemary Clewes has travelled in the High North, East and West Arctic by raft, icebreaker and kayak. Summer camp nourished a love of the land early in her life, and later she lived and worked in Europe. Alongside her work as an MSW, a Gestalt and Marriage and Family Therapist, she was an accomplished horsewoman, painter and printmaker. Clewes graduated from Trinity College in the class of 58, And from The University of Michigan in Social Work in 1972. “Song For Stamm Woodlot” is included in Clewes new book, Rain on My Skin by Aeolus House. This is her fifth book of poetry. It follows Thule Explorer: Kayaking North of 77 Degrees (Hidden Brook Press 2008), Once Houses Could Fly: Kayaking North of 79 Degrees (Signature Editions, 2012), Paper Wings (Guernica Editions), 2014 and The Woman Who Went to the Moon: Poems of Igloolik (Inanna Publications, 2017). Her chapbook Islands North and South was published by Aeolus House in 2017.