Woodstove in the July Heat by Rosemary Clewes

Poem title: Woodstove in the July Heat  Poet name: Rosemary Clewes Poem: 						Lake Rosseau, 1939  One night    not these dark November ones      not the sharp bite or the embattled sky that bring  snow or freezing rain    nor the bones of trees cling of mildewed maple leaves     but here   atmosphere so thick you can feel its pulse    gather it in your hand    pack it into cloud-balls   not swift as cherry pits far as you can spit (no tree here for a target     or competition  with your sibs) yet something     air weighty  as prophecy straightening its tie    resettling  the shoulders of its jacket before it arrives    that night     it doesn’t happen like you’d think     Ezekiel does not send a wheel a’ rollin  way in the middle of the air    braced    we stand  shoulder on    my brothers & sister & me    four    in descending height closing ranks at the shore     we wait for a cosmic sign    I can smell the musk    its scent unspooling    the presence of pronouncement  pressing my lungs    strange the way sky welds  lake to itself    the quivering silence gives us  the jitters    then it comes    that torrent in summer    tandem-tied to the rhyming wind    the pock-mark lake  and the shape of rain stinging our bare arms    drowning the memory of supper around the woodstove swelter     eyes blinded     ears full of it    our mouths amphibian again End of poem.  Credits and Bio: Copyright © Rosemary Clewes  “Woodstove in the July Heat” is the premier poem in a new book: Rain on my Skin: awaiting publication. The book is a life-work of adventure, travel, early loss and love interwoven with a growing connection to the natural world. It is both history, memoir and elegy commencing in 1939. After many rich years as a social worker, a horsewoman, pianist, painter and printmaker, Rosemary Clewes embraced poetry. She has been named for the National Book Awards and The CBC Literary Prize. She has rafted and kayaked some of the great rivers and fjords in the Western and Eastern Arctic. She has published five books. She lives in Toronto.