Pamela Stewart
Pastoral


Everything starts with the "I."
Especially the world as we speak it.
Ask who enjoys more the tender fruit.
man or moose? I'm told
a moose prefers the tender shoots
of wetlands, small leaves.
The monumental being of moose thrives
on what we trample, tear up, ignore.
Its "I" moves from meal to meal, is no less
loving towards its calf
than we are towards soft infants.
Another "I" gets just so far beyond its doorway
and as it makes new thing
after new thing, as it eats to live
it gets too big to hide.
Meanwhile the moose has moved to the edge
of Rt. 2, near Athol.
The small swamp beyond has a deep wet scent.
An unspoken sweetness.
Ars Poetica


There's a blue door on her cottage which lives among other cottages with their small gardens and walls. A lantern by the door and boxes of white, pink, yellow flowers inside and out. The cottage is a capture because even the gentle woman inside, resting her elbow on her desk, knows the vast difficult particulars of the world beyond her door. Or any door leading from one place to another. For instance: great Europe stretching its back and thighs, the rumblings and rot, the beautiful parts of skin shining with language. Milk bottles outside the blue door begin to warm in the sun. She rises to bring them in, to not be wasteful as her long life slows. There is no illness yet, and no one's found her out -- what she declares, how she looks when bathing, what she's hiding from.