Skip to content

Content From Issue: Volume 6 Number 1 (February 2019)

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things


by Earl Livings

To birth our first tongue

we plunge into the music

of those who speak to us

and around us, cradle

to kitchen table, make sense

out of our nonsense replies

to their words, fine-tune

our ear and mind with chatter,

books and blackboard lessons,

live the language in landscapes

of playground, city, country

and nature, till world and words

become our own music

without our thinking of it


To earn a second language needs

more than paper learning

from dictionary and grammar book,

which can only give us

Mae’r haul yn disgleirio,

‘The sun is shining’,

Not Mae’r haul yn gwenu,

‘The sun is smiling’,

the native speaker’s lifetime

of intimate rhythms

in landscape and breath


Harder still to express two worlds

of adoption and heritage

in picture or story when the words

and melody of one are lost,

or fragmented, or withheld,

snatches, glimpses, hints only

to help us reconstruct

Ngawak walang, back-stone,

from the phrase itself, not

from the lived learning

of landscape and speaker—

back of the stone, behind the stone,

a stone to rest the back


Leaving us the only burden:

to make sense of more than

stolen histories, faded music

by quickening with tools

of haunted eye, ear and mind

a death-right anthem that rouses

and haloes all our worlds

For Veronica Calarco and her Knowing Place series, Stiwdio Maelor, Wales

Published: January 2019
Earl Livings

has published literary and speculative poetry and fiction in Australia and also Britain, Ireland, Canada, the USA, and Germany. His writing focuses on science, history, nature, mythology and the sacred. In December 2018, Ginninderra Press published his second poetry collection, Libation, and he is currently working on an historical fantasy novel set in 6th century Britain.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things


by Mark Dickinson

Published: January 2019
Mark Dickinson

Mark Dickinson’s first full length collection Tender Geometries was published in 2015. He contributed to The Ground Aslant: An Anthology of Radical Landscape Poetry. ‘Grass’ is selected from a group of graphic and written compressions or disturbances entitled bit/map. Employed as lead gardener he lives on a croft developing vegetation at the extremes of Oceanicity.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things


by Annie Hunter

Graptolites are extinct marine colonial animals that lived in the Palaeozoic oceans between the Middle Cambrian and Carboniferous. They reached their greatest diversity during the Ordovician and are important index fossils for dating Paleozoic rocks. They are usually preserved in dark-coloured mudstones where they appear as shiny pencil-like markings, hence their name, derived from the Greek words graptos meaning ‘written’ and lithos meaning ‘rock’.

Graptolites, Stephen Hui Geological Museum.


In Poverty Gully, there is a library of stone where Ordovician volumes of mauve, ochre

and dove-grey are shelved with their spines pointing north. Here the Earth laid down

her thoughts in dense slurries carried from the west; in sands and silts and clays that settled

in a great submarine fan. Beneath the surface, graptolites glide like pressed angels between

of slate and shale, a planktonic host hanging in a vast sedimentary vault, clonal colonies

of zooids that lived in bathtub temperatures—before fishes, before gymnosperms,

before winged insects, before warm blood knew the world.


An old race carries no water—only the currents of violence. On a collapsed sign someone

has crossed out the word ‘Poverty’ and painted ‘Abundance’ over it in blue, as if this mass

of mullock heaps were simply a set of encyclopaedias to be re-shelved in alphabetical order.

Both words lie bleaching in the dust. Among the gold diggers were those from Wales,

who mined a stratigraphy named after their own ancestors, Ordovices and Silures—

both tribes subdued by Roman armies. All that burning, panning, cradling, sluicing,

puddling, dredging. Subduing in their turn.


And so one might imagine the Ordovices before defeat, gathering alluvium from streams

to forge the Mold Cape, smelting the ore, hammering it out to the thickness of a beetle’s elytra,

its sheet-gold shoulder-shaped, ribbed and bossed, snug about the torso of its wearer—

just as the thecal cup housed the zooid, one of dozens on the crowded stipe of a graptolite,

connected to its clonal kin by a nerve cord. Each creature seeks to shelter its soft parts,

to mark its place within the geometry of a tribe.


What slender figure was buried in that fluid mantle? When quarry workers broke open

the grave, they divided the gold between themselves and disposed of the skeleton.

Published: January 2019
Annie Hunter

has had a chequered career, having worked as a waitress, farmhand, factory worker, environmental activist, public servant and researcher. Relatively new to poetry writing, she was shortlisted for the New Shoots Poetry Prize 2016 and awarded the ACU Poetry Prize 2018. She lives on Dja Dja Wurrung country, in Castlemaine, Victoria.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things

flat flap

by Moya Costello

(Abrus precatorius family Fabaceae)

© Southern Cross University 2017 – By Heidi Lunn, used with permission.

Abrus precatorius sounds like liturgical chanting: Precator sum, I pray, with bi-coloured rosary-strung peas. Or is it … confetti seed-strewn? Or maybe rhythmic rowing, the leaves and seed pods miniature paddles slurp-swashing. Or flying packages: olive-clayed cartouches to petition, contra-(re)ceptive. Or the leaves, the backs of thin thongs hung flapping in multiples, displayed to swell selling.

Seed pods are Tin-Tin-curlicued-tail-end. Tiny, headless, flattened rats. Or brown-furred stingrays body-commune clustered/held to the umbilical-cord stem, or nipple-joined and could-be-plucked, the tail pointing to the world with the leaves signal-flagging some soundless language something understands.

Seed is dark-chocolate haired above a toffee-coloured, featureless face, the single-roomed sheath of its pod home organza-curtained partitioned, potentialed for adornment-desired neck-lace or arm-cuff.

Flower: eyeless mole rats emerging blind. Before it blooms, the flower coming from its sheath-opening and a crawling insect face or, before that, a pointed/speared beak with unknown body. Flowering flesh-red, veal thin, fat marbled, flounced-capped or cloche-hatted. Stamens jellyfish-mimicking.

Beseeching vegetal being to purge, tone, recharge flesh and blood.

Published: January 2019
Moya Costello

is an adjunct/casual lecturer, Southern Cross University. She has two collections of prose and two short novels published, and many scholarly and creative works in journals and anthologies. She has been awarded writing grants, fellowships and a residency from federal and state governments, Varuna, and Monash University.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things


by Kathryn Hummel

After Louise Glück


At a certain hour today, I learned of allision.

Obsolete now, fixed to maritime law:

one ship runs upon another

resisting the blurred tread of the ocean.

Even against progression, the act is accurate;

yielding: a feint straight line.


Along this seamless form runs the current of

a somatic physics,

as though the event of interaction between two objects

finds gratifying the lock of their forces.


Whatever is produced is in excess,

a residue seen without feeling.


We could not defend a lack of movement if we tried—

such stillness, so well-timed

not even late, really quite early?

Why should we be made to remember

the instant our data dissatisfies.

The act of alliding; of impact, striking the static.

It disturbs the mercury coming to rest against our faces.

It takes energy to misalign.

Published: January 2019
Kathryn Hummel

is a writer and researcher. Her diverse creative and scholarly works have been published / presented / translated / anthologised / recognised around the world. Her fifth book of poems is forthcoming with Singapore’s Math Paper Press and her sixth and seventh with London’s Prote(s)xt Books. Currently, Kathryn is the non-fiction and travel writing editor for Verity La. More info @

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things

Entirely different and unexpected things (said Schoenberg)

by Ali Jane Smith

once we’ve walked down the hill

comparing bum notes

and seen that kookaburra

I think of going to look at blue poles

or returning to the piano in the room

an enclosed breezeway

with overexposed beams and lovely light through stained glass

it’s not really a piano

I’ll dry the dishes while you noodle

a fresh tea towel is just the thing, and I thought of it

I’m happy in the guide hall too

with its old portrait of the young elizabeth II

dressed like a sylphide

it must be the tulle that, for me, associates

that image with fonteyn’s trembling thigh

I don’t ever want to sit in a waiting room

listening to breakfast tv audio

ever ever again but some things are not a choice

why do the things that stay with you stay with you

are they caught on just two or three hooks

tiny velcro burrs in thought and experience that collect

musics, fabrics, patterns, light

a piece of buttery foil sliding around a plate

the smell of marine grease

I’m back in the stained glass room, but only in my thoughts

and the foot of the stairs

is the other place that seems to lead

to good times or the cover of pink moon or a house

on a river I saw on tv or the rooms I know only as elusive thoughts

is the fun stuff only fun if you have to do the other stuff too?

I should wake up every morning so happy

what are we doing today

we’re doing this, whatever this is.

Published: January 2019
Ali Jane Smith

is the author of a chapbook, Gala, published long, long ago by the Five Islands Press New Poets Program. Her poems have been published in literary journals, including Southerly, Cordite, Not Very Quiet, Australian Poetry Journal and Overland.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things

Eco de la historia

by Jake Goetz

bees weave

a fabric of wind around

the hills hoist

and through a rattling freight

bound to ecology

the same way bees

are bound to the economy

or a flock of pigeons

speck the sky

while the uneven yard

has the feeling

of being lived in

slices of pizza

in the grass   a pair of volleys

a recycling bin

full of bottles

lying beside a circular

fire-pit of bricks

collapsed like the ruins

of the Chachapoyas

high up

in the cloud forests

in northern Peru – Kuélap

a de-centralised community

that traded with people

of the Amazon and coast

until the Inka   then the Spanish

reduced their world

to an archaeological discovery

always in the name

of progression and religion

or profit and national interest

in the name of Sydney

or Sydenham   of the ways in which

language can colonise place

a people   turning desire

into the rattling

of that freight   a booming A380

vibrating the grass

the land

where ideas expand

into floods   endure fires

and the suburban rash

where i watch bees

take what they can

while still giving

weaving through another freight

a Virgin plane

and cars on the Princes

circling through the city

as bees around

the hills hoist or drones

over the Middle East

bound to the echo of history

this ability to think

and yet repeat

Published: January 2019
Jake Goetz

currently resides in Sydney’s Inner West. His first book, meditations with passing water, a long-poem written alongside the Maiwar / Brisbane River, was published by Rabbit Poetry Journal in 2018.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things

diamonds are forever

by Connor Weightman

none inured to it

is i guess the rub

language splittles the length of the pole


(i’ll have to ask you here to collect, all of it

, your working knowledge of satellites

and electro magnet theory)


that           it           formalises

and familiarises. that the diaspora

felters over the surface area


fractions (out) like a shock absorber

and puts the arm and arms length

between, between  ,


it is, what? the way of things?

like a current model suggests you imagine

most matter is, when you get right down to it


empty space, pursed points

blowing against each other.

diamonds are forever (1971)


a lattice with fixed quantities, like

the word “immediate” has four syllables

. it would probably be impossible


to trick the whole immaculate

conception of language

to congeal in the middle


(wherein together/s we

can touch


Published: January 2019
Connor Weightman

is currently based in Melbourne. His poetry has appeared in Westerly, Cordite and foam:e.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things

Alamogordo Glass

by Hannah Cooper-Smithson

Slick bubble of stone

suspended in a twist

of silver wire; pale green

(like hellebore flowers,

like sea-glass)

it holds pockets of time

within itself –


the sand melting crumbs of stone quartz
calcite feldspar becoming slack and liquid
frothing into irregularities of green glass
like spilled beads like water spasming
in a hot pan coming together in a sudden                     SHRIEKING


like flies

bumping the panes

of amber windows –


the tarmac melting the epithelium the fat
the bones shadows on the walls the smell
of the eyes melting the hands melting the
sky a sudden bright


that leak into the water,

into your children’s teeth,

their soft, forming bones.

Published: January 2019
Hannah Cooper-Smithson

is a Midlands3Cities Arts and Humanities Research Council funded PhD student at Nottingham Trent University, England. Her poetry makes use of unconventional form to interrogate human relationships with the natural world and human identity in the Anthropocene.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things

Abandoned Agricultural Machinery, No.23

by Bruach Mhor

Hay rakes,

no longer horse-hitched,

look like

lost, portable bike racks.

My favourite,

claimed by the bracken clan,

rusts beside

the Loch Na Keal coast road,


the once rowed water

to Inch Kenneth:

permanently turned to follow

off-shore white horses.

History, like a tourist,

motors by.

Published: January 2019
Bruach Mhor

lives by a loch in the Hebrides. He is transitioning into a seal. His poems have most recently appeared in The Lake and the Emerald edition of Monstrous Regiment Literary Magazine. He once reviewed Val Plumwood’s Environmental Culture.

Back to issue
From: Vol.06 N.01 – The Everywhere of Things

5.5.7 (33) (Fire Site on the Bibbulmun Track)

by Catherine Noske

The ground has changed beyond claim of classification –

clay or sand or silt, percentage between. This is something else,

ash-dark as tannins in water, salt-lake still. The photographic negative

of another place, another day, tree trunks skeletal in flood-plain

light, all light, all liquid –       Branches hold back the dry weight of sky,

propped between bare earth and cloud-burden. Know this is

not barren. It takes to learn its colours, and takes away – not fragile

but pushing back at the event, all impulse, resisting force.


That instinct: map damage and explain, excuse. A burn-off, out

of control. Boards peeling at the corners, hangdog,

dates shadowed in red: the universal sign of fire

or the colour walking under our fingernails,

countered in the lurid sensibility of new growth,

and the depth of white in every footprint.

Published: January 2019
Catherine Noske

is a lecturer in Creative Writing and editor of Westerly at the University of Western Australia. Her research focuses on contemporary Australian place-making. She has been awarded the A.D. Hope Prize, twice received the Elyne Mitchell Prize for Rural Women Writers, and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Hewett Award (2015). Her first novel is forthcoming with Picador.

An Australian and international
journal of ecopoetry and ecopoetics.

Plumwood Mountain Journal is created on the unceded lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation. We pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and to elders past, present and future. We also acknowledge all traditional custodians of the lands this journal reaches.