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Joanne the Poet - The Poetry of Joanne M. Clarkson

Snapdragon Journal of Art and Healing publishes “Cumulus”

“Snapdragon” has published my poem, “Cumulus,” in their online summer 2024 issue about climate change. You can read all the powerful work by going to Http://snapdragonjournal.com. I don’t write about issues of importance as often as I should. This spring I have been focusing on social concerns more seriously and have crafted several poems I am proud of including this one. I am thankful to the editors of Snapdragon for bringing the needs of our beautiful world forward for both writers and readers to take to heart.


When I first learned clouds move,

I was three years old. Lesson

in the terror of change. The villain

was wind who pushed and shredded,

the same ghost who chafed my skin.

Over the years I developed affection

for breezes, the way all love involves

a tinge of fear. The way I forgave

my own visible breath, leaving.

Throughout my life, the winds have risen

until now I see the atmosphere unraveling,

clouds and leaves and dust all one earth-shift.

Some say the sunsets are more brilliant

these days. I see them with the same

wariness I glimpse the false rainbow

in an oil slick, poison mistaken

for pearl. Clouds outside my window

do not hold the same rain I knew

as a child. Less river, more smoke. Vapor

I imagined into animals now their slow

erasure. Unless we envision a fresh wind.

Until we change the shape of our fear.

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