Remembering Judith Rodriguez (1936–2018)

The sad news came in this morning that wonderful poet, mentor and friend to many,  feminist, champion of human rights and Earth care, Judith Rodriguez has died. To honour her memory, Plumwood Mountain is reposting two poems published here, the beautiful ‘Benison’, and her telling ‘Lines of Galilee’ written in support of the Stop Adani campaign and appearing in the ebook hope for whole.

PEN International has posted a strong tribute to Judith here.

 

Benison

 

window of light

whether you close justly

or not

you are the way out of just-me

and the way in

#

my verandah shelves light

my trees hive light

what can I say?

me too, me too

#

Company at Cleeve Hill

the hills our elders

green     green

trees     worlds of life     our eldest friends

thronging the fields     hefters of sky

green

and the Rising Sun

its lit windows

#

waiting with garlands

at this or that ageless rock

this or that holy site

this or that shrine –

but unadorned

she comes to my disordered room

to my shadowed room

to my silence

shining

abundant

#

 

Judith Rodriguez

 

 

LINES OF GALILEE

 

There’s a line of creation

from the land

to the Wagan-Jagalingou

from unpolluted seas

to the living Reef we knew.

 

There’s a line of production

from government bribes the people paid

to coal

to railways and jobs, that’s what they’re saying,

and votes.

 

There’s a line of destruction

from the mountainous rift

and promises politicians

and profit-takers cannot keep,

to the sludge of ports

smearing the ancient waters

shutting down the lives of the Reef.

 

The next line of finance

will not come from tourists

fronting a reef of bones

and inland the black hole

torn in land the people own.

 

Yes, dollars and votes cheer

coal’s three-century

industrial fantasy –

polluted air

and scarred earth’s misery.

 

But see: sun, water, wind,

and thermal flows,

earth’s ancient energies

rouse in the new century

to our aid, to redeem our heritage –

 

only

devotees of votes and money

we will not hear

what the imperilled earth has said.

 

Judith Rodriguez

Vale Judith. She gave this editor of Plumwood Mountain journal the impetus to give energy, time and love to the poetry that calls her forth. Many others will feel similarly.

Anne Elvey

Managing Editor

23 November 2018



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3 replies

  1. Vale Judith. She blessed Brisbane with her presence in her youth and many times after. Always a beacon of integrity, she lives on in our works and lives which she enhanced with her generosity.

    Like

  2. Vale Judith. An inspirational woman and poet. Thanks for sharing the news, Anne.

    Like

  3. RIP Judith… your inspiring poetry will live on forever…

    Like

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