begin with a circle facing a fire auntylit under the blinking pink and kindledawn moon nevertheless still splashingin the breeze rest handfuls of stripletsprigs moiety-up arc an interspeciesintimacy until a dozen landscapes egresswith a eucalyptus lungful and the supernaturalappear commonsense in tempered embersthis is not a mourning poem you seeplaces are totemic uncle dips bottlebrushdew admits life begins with yellowbelly * untroubled chuckle in gesturesthe way the land-owner cites edible plantssurveys the shape the colour of eyesa course of native spices peppers cosmopolitanphenotypes he smokes a pipe with a timberpulse and jokes how he plundered throughDark Emu in a week thanks god for theseasons urging to get on with businesseat biscuits wait for the wind to calmsheepish hawks circle thermal pocketsbirdsong warms the valley lips * didn’t fall from our mother’s clackerwith a pair of clapsticks in our hands auntycalls a tenure of love a labor of warmth for lightfor ceremony for hardening the point spearheadthe facts face the leviathan that chokesthe undergrowth and wraps its brambled bodyaround the roots untouched scales a forsakengallery this toothache country uncle growls yearsof gub-abo leaf litter over his old shouldersletting in a little peace of sky clearingthe air which left untended is prone to ignition * auntie yawns two-stepping with a willywagtaildriptorch in her hand tilts yolk from an egglittle min-min ooze out dance fiddle-footednothing cataclysmic no holocenic genocideno pyretic extinction just a fizz seeds pop ticklelick with a pitch and chimerical taste of speciesin cahoots no war but a wash of living soot nobreakneck rush but simply slips down the slopeflush like a droplet down the wrist a murmurationof carapaces and critters scurrying up trunksa breath before a din no woodwind lakestormno brouhaha only the heartstrings the burningdipthong unbuttoning years of flora and fleshlost on the logophile we walk and talk on a hotbedof rolling bio-semiosis side-by-side a wanderingphantonym in mnemonic attires cool to the touchand calm as wallabies watching in the distance
Copyright © 2020 by Luke Patterson
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.
Luke Patterson is a First Nations poet, musician and folklorist living on unceded Gadigal lands in Sydney, Australia. His poetry has appeared in Plumwood Mountain, Rabbit, Verity La and Firefront: First Nations poetry and power today. Interested in the ways bioregional identities and consciousness are expressed through localised and vernacular forms, Luke’s research and creative pursuits are grounded in his extensive work with Aboriginal and other community-based organizations across Australia.
An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics
Plumwood Mountain is an online journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics published in Australia.
We publish poetry that may broadly be understood as engaging with a more-than-human context, in a variety of poetic forms, articles on the poetics and intent of ecopoetry, exploring ways in which poetry not only responds to and affects its world, but also ways in which poetic practice can model ecological systems and concerns, the ways in which poems themselves are material, breathy things in a world of animate matter, and reviews of collections of poetry that understand themselves or could be understood as ecopoetry.
The journal is named after Plumwood Mountain on unceded Yuin land.
Plumwood Mountain appears twice a year in February and August, beginning in February 2014.