a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society
I sang to the brown sheep
that she might finally die, not
keep lying, hay-covered,
against the cold during that long
in-between strong animals endure.
I sang in tune, made-up lullabies;
I sang to her blindness and staggered gait,
her Navajo rug fleece
and the way she loved her sweet feed
with extra corn and salt.
She was born here, and now
I ask her to be like any elder
taking that long step into open time.
If she could lift her head
and speak with mouth or eyes,
she would, I think, tell me to leave.
I’m in the way.
She knows her last breath
is around the dusty corner, knows
where mine is, and yours.
Pamela Stewart (known as Jody) is a true “boomer,” New England born and bred. She began writing in grade school because she couldn’t draw. She’s taught creative writing at ASU, University of Arizona, UC Irvine, and University of Houston. In 1982 she received a Guggenheim and traveled to Cornwall, UK where she then lived for 7 years. Jody returned to western Massachusetts and in 1994 she, and her family, moved to a farm to raise fiber animals. Over the years she’s published in a number of magazines, received 3 Pushcart publications, and has written 6 full-length books including The Red Window (Univ. of Georgia Press, 1997), and Ghost Farm (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2010.) A chapbook, Just Visiting, was published by Grey Suit Editions, London, 2014. She still lives on the farm with 3 dogs, some elderly sheep, a rescued horse, his donkey, several goats and old pigs.