BO092C

Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn

too close to the sky
the clouds dip and tousle
above piles of dead forests

this rusty pot, licked by flames
a burning vessel
holds bitter fractals. Tannins steeped in river water

I hold your cup
stir in brown sugar
and bin dived milk
you clamber onto split tree stumps
build a castle of kindling. Bring back
the fastest parrot in the land. This is your quest

as nesting hollows go up in flame
the birds, both swift and orange-bellied, plummet
from ‘regenerative burns’ administered by: state subsidized timbers

swing into extinction
to exist is to flicker, briefly
with movement. Light and warmth
to no longer exist
is to be snuffed out
to become ex-tinct
de-funct. You found an echidna
on the side of the road
with brown-blonde spines singed off

water falls through concrete lips
churning electricity from ancient rivers, held back
by the force of modern exigencies

the Rosebery power station hums like the milky way
a swarm of insects, pluming
in the smoke that trickles above camp

towering eucalypts
wrestle the wind
at dawn, mist steals
beneath the canopy,
a clearfell hemmed in by
trees draped in lace and velvet moss

deep in the earth’s pockets
gold and zinc and silver veins
filaments, crystallized

extract tree rings, age lines
can you sense the light trapped
within these floorboards?

A note on the title
BO092C is a logging coupe situated in the Pieman River catchment of the largest temperate rainforest in Australia, takayna/the Tarkine in northwest Tasmania, where there is currently a tailings dam scheduled for construction by a large mining operation.


Zowie Douglas-Kinghorn is a young writer, editor and environmental activist whose work has recently appeared in Overland, Meanjin, Cordite, Rabbit Poetry and others. She was awarded the 2018 Scribe Nonfiction Prize and the 2021 Ultimo Prize, and is on the editorial committee of Voiceworks and The Unconformity.

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