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Content From Issue: Volume 7 Number 2 (October 2020)

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Two Sonnets

by Craig Santos Perez

Plastic Sonnet During the Pandemic


Before the pandemic, we avoid plastic,

but now we buy bottles of sanitizer,

bleach, and water. “Plastic is hygienic.

When we leave the house, we wear

plastic gloves and N95 masks.

“Plastic keeps us safe from contagion.”

Patients in the overcrowded hospital

breathe with plastic ventilators

and tubes. “Plastic is the perfect creation

because it never gets sick.” The price of oil

and virgin polymers collapse.

Every reusable plastic is a disease vector.”

Does plastic finally feel essential?

Is our single-use body disposable?



Flower Sonnet During the Pandemic


Our daughter holds my hand

as we walk besides the stream.

If a forest remains intact,

viruses will live in harmony

with all other species.

Down the path, a family

moves away from us.

What is the distance between

a safe world I imagined for her,

and this? She picks up

a plumeria and says, “flower.”

The peak has yet to come.

The next pandemic is already

beginning to bloom.

Published: October 2020
Craig Santos Perez

is an indigenous Chamoru poet from the Pacific Island of Guam. He is the author of five poetry books and the co-editor of five anthologies. He teaches at the University of Hawai’i, Manoa.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Stinging Tree

by Katie O'Donnell

Published: October 2020
Katie O'Donnell

is a current Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) student at Deakin University, and a primary school music teacher. Katie lives with her family in Cairns, North Queensland, in a hill-side house surrounded by rainforest. During the Covid-19 pause in their usual activities, Katie and her family walked in the rainforest, absorbing its sights, sounds, smells and touches as, unperturbed, the forest continued its being-in-the-world.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause


by Monique Lyle


…………..Somebody was walking way high up in the sky. They hadn’t jumped up there; they’d gotten caught in the rain. Their body was floating smoothly through drops and then pivoting now and then.
…………..There wasn’t any need to pay attention to words or grammar. There wasn’t any requirement of having any imagination because that implied some sort of direction.
…………..A window creaked open, no fly screen was on it, and another floated out to the sound of a train. The breeze got caught on the raindrop and going up pivoted it side to side.
…………..Others did jump up apart from the rain but they had already had their dreams read. Some had dove into pavlova and others had hid themselves beneath shiny orange floorboards. What was important to others were ferns, lush and with the fine sprinkler on. Some had big strawberries and some were on a windy hill with their knees slung over.
…………..The cushions in the room themselves had rain drops slung over them, just like the mountain. The pools were rich and in a swimming pool shape.
…………..Every now and again somebody up high would whistle as another swam out of the crack of the window. They would go through the trees and find shade; they’d be bustled about amidst the branches.
…………..Another again would fly up in a green sheet, as a ghost; camouflaging in with the tree then moving on as superimposed. They’d whistle into the clearest of air which broke like a chip and it had green flecks in it.
…………..The cups were full of crisp water and others would dive in as small children in little dresses and trimmed fringes.
…………..I repeat, no-one’s imagination mattered or bothered anyone as everyone had been drawn in.
…………..Bodies snuck out of cracks of windows and joined the others who had jumped into the sky or been rained in.
…………..The children swam in the water with tiny red goldfish which you thought were moving. The couches really were huge and could be sunken into; swimming in their cushions. Printers were making pieces for dollhouses for the children who had been swimming and they liked especially the figurines of tiny blood clots which moved like sea anemone whenever the wind caught on.
…………..All the bedsheets got blown off and girls in tanned bras had been holding the blood clots and straightening their fringes in silence. They’d been swimming—doing freestyle when a wave would pass and with their eyes closed like that it was like being on a ride. You can soar up onto a wave when it comes and fall off the other side, pushing your head under water before coming up so as to make the part go on the side.
…………..The mountains do the same, usually after the rain. That’s how they reform themselves, with all those walking up in the sky looking down to the symphony. The floorboards are heard as they walk over it before going up with the symphony and all the others in the rain.


…………..Mothers were there unifying everything and tiny flecks of talcum powder grew in wisps on their fine arm hairs.
…………..There wasn’t any sound; only emotion in the meal.
…………..Women sketched old women in pencil and groups gathered with snakes to read poetry. Others got together to unify their dances not their poems.
…………..Mothers didn’t quite realize and just purchased roots of plants to place together in the grinder.
…………..The maroon was more brown than red; the green yellow.
…………..Membranous interiors of shells cracked under toes. And the huge screams matched how the face was cut in half when the membership ended and how somebody cared.
…………..The stamping was of weight because no-one said that the beast was chained to the beach.
…………..The grossierity of the bodies was incomparable to the girls but they don’t necessarily concern one another.
…………..Surface textures feel sensual under the skin and there is a large invisible presence. It is possible to build up this presence and move it around.
…………..Someone knew you were always going to be an artist because of the charcoal in your eyes and because of the empty space in the field of the eye when closed. Also because of the mountains occupying you. Also because of the way the green tree was like being underwater when there was wind to you.
…………..The whole lot of everyone came together to hold their mouths in circles, even those freshly flung up with the rain. Algae quivered on up too and they all remarked how they were seaweeds.


…………..Three patches of light divided into swimming pool shapes called the body. It immersed itself by dividing into three with nothing but stomachs coming out the other side. The stomachs were of that shape with one grandiose one due to its being impregnated with stream water.
…………..The water was lapped at and squelched and even the long thin ones from up there came down.
…………..Whistles zoomed around in ancient clay which had been glossed. Serpents swam around too and one of them took a ride on one. Others took luxuries in the form of flying up.
…………..The sea-snakes watched, their snouts in chaff bags.
…………..Three dear ones, one little one, sprung up out of meadow grass with a spray of blossom darting up around. All of them slid down slides, rolling over or dropping like pins. The trees swayed with excitement but cut themselves on shiny steel saying no.
…………..Moistness clung to skin and condensation clung there, because somebody had light feet and they were on the mountain. From afar they leapt and a little one slid down. It wasn’t necessary to be surprised that flowers were twinkling and somebody was painting a wall. Even dear ones were sucking on cherry with moistness trickling. Every time they jumped discs of ice came and cherry.
…………..The grasses from the meadow flew up all around someone eating directly without a murmur from teacups. Others came with tape measures to get a glimpse, ending up catching tears in the cups and finding their blood clots there. They put them in the cushions and lay down.
…………..Meadow grasses flung high into the sky where the ones were still moving around. Like wings going up lightly they’d slipped through cracks and gotten out into the rain.

Published: October 2020
Monique Lyle

is currently completing a creative PhD with the writing department at WSU. Recently her work has appeared in Flash Cove, Otoliths and Dance Research.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Spring Mission

by Allan Lake

Of white and blue.

The page, the ink,

the shirt, the jeans.

Habits of creation.

Some struggle up a hill

to roll back down,

some wear fluorescent.

Up old ghost gums

along Elster creek

sulphur-crested cockatoos

yell for the hell of it.

I hum “Sunny” by B. Hebb

but slow tempo to suit

the mood, the age.

Worse songs are lifers

locked somewhere within.

Sun, doing what sun does

(cloud or not), receives

my divided adoration as

I sip espresso at beach cafe

before resuming journey

to court Emily D  –

a lone white sail, right there,

where blue sea weds bluer sky.

One must not be late.

Published: October 2020
Allan Lake

Originally from Saskatchewan, Allan Lake has lived in Vancouver, Cape Breton Island, Ibiza, Tasmania & Melbourne. Poetry Collection: Sand in the Sole (Xlibris, 2014). Lake won Lost Tower Publications(UK) Comp 2017 & Melbourne Spoken Word Poetry Fest/The Dan 2018. Poetry Chapbook (Ginninderra Press, 2020): My Photos of Sicily.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Apple Picking in Plague Time

by Mike Ladd

Published: October 2020
Mike Ladd

lives and writes in Adelaide. He ran Poetica on ABC Radio National for two decades and currently makes history documentaries. He has published nine collections of poetry and prose and has experimented with poetry as audio, video, in street installations, and in live performance with musicians. His most recent book is Invisible Mending, published by Wakefield Press in 2016.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Waves from Irinjalakuda

by Petra Kuppers

Paper crinkles from Sweden: maps of world click

Elder couple tells the story of a lesbian composer

expands the realm of sonic possibility


Deep gong roams in golden-green metallic flow

Butoh moon boom

artist of considerable breadth


Tuning: moan wind through the other ether

Lips pull into coherence

creative chameleon who would love to collaborate


Percussive violin ticks in pink light

México City compress needle rip

Feminist Autonomous sensory meridian response


Reverb: echo old stories flow till the rhythm picks up

Spank an open hole, drape softer sheets

“Walking With The Disappeared”


Washtenaw morning roar cuts through trees

Susurration sand from Byron Bay

multiplied view of the characters’ gestalt


sharp red blur streaks across the garden’s pitch

Semi release. Train hoot. Arrivals.

citizenship makes moral and ethical claims upon our bodies

(upon performing as part of Full Pink Moon, Opera Povera in Quarantine: an international durational livestream performance of visionary composer Pauline Oliveros’s open-form The Lunar Opera; Deep Listening For Tunes, April 7th 2020)

Published: October 2020
Petra Kuppers

is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a Professor at the University of Michigan. Her books include the ecosomatic poetry collection Gut Botany, the queer/crip speculative story collection Ice Bar, and multiple academic books. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing space.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

At Lillie Park

by Petra Kuppers

Poison Sumac: red gothic earrings on gnarled fingerbones.


Velvet touch of a Lamb’s Ear cabbage patch, linden-green pulse in the ground.


Black garbage bags, burnt into devil finger’s fungus.


Rake up a blue shirt. Orange netting lichen.


A shaped metal thing, as if a locomotive brayed it toward spread.


Bitumen patches, rain-curled out of seals.


Dinosaur seed pods, swollen purple with green sticky sap.


Acorn nut, un-hatted, veined, split, keeps the secret.

Published: October 2020
Petra Kuppers

is a disability culture activist, a community performance artist, and a Professor at the University of Michigan. Her books include the ecosomatic poetry collection Gut Botany, the queer/crip speculative story collection Ice Bar, and multiple academic books. She lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, where she co-creates Turtle Disco, a somatic writing space.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

The Things

by Jill Jones

I lean on the gate. It’s cold & metallic, & that is completely reassuring — A peeled banana, almost whole & reasonably fresh, in front of the green garage door down the street — Someone’s up a ladder doing house repairs to the tune of ‘All My Friends are Getting Married’ —Abandoned fold-up stroller under a jacaranda near a street corner. It’s been there a while, leaf dust accumulating in its folds — ‘I win again’ says little girl to daddy in the race up the garden path to the front door — A large magnificent orange & black winged insect is roaming around between three almost pristine fake grass patches on the verge — Two empty longnecks of Hahn SuperDry on a bench on the verge, but socially distanced — A microwave oven sits on top of a station wagon’s bonnet. A sign attached to it says ‘For Sale $30’ — Furry carcass on the verge, skull bones protruding from one end. Large rat, I guess — She says to me: ‘They are playing music from the 20s. The Great Depression.’ Gestures to a nearby house then walks towards the rail crossing with a small plastic bag of groceries — A mother & son are at the nets at Goodwood Oval. She’s batting: ‘Show me what you got’. He bowls very wide. Next one a little tighter & short-pitched. He’s wearing sunglasses — Dad on bike explaining stuff to kid on bike — A rainbow emerges from clouds chalked onto a cement driveway — The delivery guy keeps his distance, ‘must be safe’, says ‘I’m 64 with a crook chest, it’ll carry me off’, gestures upwards, ‘hey sky, if you want me now, you can take me’, waves & drives off — A black & white butterfly hovers above me near the oval entrance. Is it the colour of my shirt (magenta) that interests it, or the leaves, the weeds? — A man stands at a bus stop, wiping his face with his right hand — The physically distanced chairs in the waiting room make it feel we’re part of a performance that either hasn’t yet begun or has begun with no script, score or instructions. We are the performance — A discarded & cracked white plastic fork under a tree — Walking towards East Avenue I hear the tolling of the rail crossing & the station’s loudspeaker, announcements without bodies — The once-fresh banana cast down near the green garage door is now blackening & two centipedes crawl around it — It’s overcast, a few spits of rain, & the gate’s metal feels chilly. I don’t linger

Published: October 2020
Jill Jones

Jill Jones’ most recent books include Wild Curious Air, A History Of What I’ll Become, and Viva the Real, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2020 John Bray Award. In late 2014 she was writer-in-residence at Stockholm University. Her work features in recent anthologies including The Anthology of Australian Prose Poetry, Contemporary Australian Poetry and Contemporary Australian Feminist Poetry. Currently she is a member of the J.M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice at the University of Adelaide.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause


by Khaled Hakim

The narrative was created just before the pandemic, but I found it anticipated my endless shopping treks for my large young family. By completion it was a part of “the pause.” This 5 minute segment is of Stan entering a cave of (extinct) cave-lion/cave-bear to meditate on privations. “Remembering Brakhage” is a half hour radio play of the last days of the great artist-filmmaker. In a post-pandemic world, Stan sets off on a shopping trip to wander strange deserts and ends up in the wastes of British Columbia, where he is “saved” by a tiny community of transgender survivalists. The ghosts of Michael McClure, wives and children, and his dog Sirius, are all conjured – including the toxic dyes of his hand-painted films that some say did for him.

& so I followd th camels acros the Aral dezert, & becam deszrt blind, & folowed the unwobbling vizion of my clozed eye, a milky ripple of foggd film at the ecges of th wirrld:

hwat is a mann w/ut his Bolex, outcast w/ut proboscis to mak senss of strange distans —

a fhantom limb wanting a speare for a distant wooly rhino

find him a cave keeping deth w/ th stink of a steppe lion,

a hominid w/ fyre

a murdering brand

crawl in w/ yr fyre, manchild, sputtering on the walls w/ colured rags of licht —

a text of liht lic a     lic a

flange flaer iluminating a thozand caves/

a wall flickering bison countless unto deeth/

a text on

lik a text lic lihte/ a thusand yellow eyeteeth waiting flash of hell

whers Michal McLur when y/ need to flush ut lurking lionbær — Heere, eet him insted!

Hunker in th belly of a beste — th surge of yr own blood smashing yr eares — & wacche the silent cameraless projecterless movie flickering stickmen in a crackling torch…

hwus that breething —

Is it yoo or me!

a text of darknes/

ech spoke flinging prehensile tunggs & fingers

a schyning blade th thikness of liȝt

I, a depresing modernist caveman, brooding w/ other glowering animals, wy they refusd my arts endowment…

Th torch gutters ut. The phosfene mandalas ar dansing. Th retinal rods see me. A competing predator w/ a begging bowl.

You want me? — want sume haery swetty mete — yu smell me?

Swilch baffle-bag darkness. My hand tuches a stone smooth as pulver, th shap of a tool, th waȝht of a camera. How much doz a Bolex weiȝh in darknes… can yu feel it? — open th camera door, clip th heed & feed it thru th gate, th sprockets sonding richt, & onto th take-up spool. Can yoo do that felid seer! — ursine moðer! Hahn? Can yoo change th motor speed? Cud yoo engineer a Kern lenz to smash my skull in? Hanh? Cud you?… You sit tihte ther Neanderþal momma.

The swæt is running off me.

Taking it off heere boss!…Dont get too excited back ther. If Mike was heere hed probably hump yu… Man, Id film þat.

I cd tak th film ut of its cooking can, finger peint in cave silt. Hwat is a man naked for exsept to paynt. A chthonick urge to smear th blind muck, & mark me pattern-making poet. Wat colour am I — ashenfast spook — burnt cloaca

chew it into coaltar paste & spray it over yr hands, swashing glittering piche

Holy cow, I think Im hiȝh on batshit.

Crawl ut of th cave muth — scarifyd & clannd progenitor patris — a handprinted animalskin of stars…

If I cd spit my berried oxides into yr skyz!

It wil always be hardship for a wandering monk to receve all by begging, & nothing by begging…today he goz forth in th skyblew robe, tomorow his ass is faling ut.

& so he joyns th migrating herds & mastadons acros th Bering bridg, to fynd academick tenure in an empti department, w/ th dire wulfs & hyena.

If y/ shud fall doon unconscius in th crushing cold, let th wild animals ravage yu — perfect in no acsion.

Khaled Hakim 2020

Published: October 2020
Khaled Hakim

has a background in film production and poetry, publishing sparingly in the 1990s as the first BAME experimental poet in the UK. He left both film and writing in the early 2000’s to pursue a spiritual path, becoming a Sufi musician.

The previously published work has belatedly been published as Letters from the Takeaway (Shearsman 2019). The Book of Naseeb is published by Penned in the Margins (2020). The Routines is forthcoming with Contraband Books.


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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

How have we mourned in the absence of gathering?

by Sandra Guerreiro

As a poet, I have mourned the absence of gathering, in its traditional sense, through a reshift of creative focus, insofar as the minutiae of the domestic realm have been zoomed into and emphasised. Because time allowed for writing in the Pause. Domesticity, the observance of the object and its indentation on the space, the redirecting of one’s gaze onto the minuscule details of the object, the incidence of light on that space. Then, the physical stepping back to better focus and the parallel mental stepping back and looking at the broader inscription of the human in its environment and the drastic consequences that human indentation has had for nature. This pandemic has opened wide and almost through a whooshing movement what was already in motion, just way less accelerated. How all feels more devastating due to the speed of the unfolding of events and how unprepared societal western neoliberal structures are. Structures that depend on the ill payed labour of keyworkers to survive while concomitantly having total disregard for the precarious working conditions that some migrants are faced with. Survival in limbo. Structures with no long-term investment plans in healthcare systems that are able to provide basic, safe, reliable and affordable services to their populations. The new arms race is now the race to vaccines. Lockdown provided time to recalibrate one’s thoughts regarding creative practice and the artist’s role in all of this.

The long look onto an object and its artistic handling in terms of ideas and concepts the object might evoke materialises, literally, when delving into collage. If poetry is added to the collage it is as if thought, touch and object become one morphed object for the viewer and morphed experience for the author.

Collage making reuses what already existed, minimising its ecological impact. It gives other meaning(s) and provides used materials a renewed existence, the perpetual act of becoming other. As language also does. Could collage and collage poetry provide a good example of nanopoetics?

Published: October 2020
Sandra Guerreiro

participated in the International Meeting of Poets in 1998 and 2007 and was a member of the Creative Writing workshop Oficina de Poesia from 1998-2000 and 2004 to 2011 (University of Coimbra, Portugal). She attended the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo (New York, USA 2000-2004) where she also collaborated with Buffalo artists and activists. In 2012, she co-edited and published the literary magazine ANARKITEKTURA #1 (Coimbra, Portugal). She uses English and Portuguese, often combining both languages in the same poem. Her poetry has been published in numerous magazines and anthologies in Portugal, Brazil, USA and Spain. Her first full-length poetry collection, Onde o Lugar | The Where Place, appeared in 2019, translated into English by UK poet Anna Reckin (Glaciar Editores, Lisbon). Guerreiro has also published translations of poetry in Portugal and Brazil. She moved to London in 2012 where she works with, and advocates for, secondary school students with special educational needs. For some of her work visit:

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

The first cold of the year

by Jake Goetz

Published: October 2020
Jake Goetz

Jake Goetz’s poetry has most recently appeared in Minarets (NZ), RabbitIslandStilts, Overland and Sickleave. In 2019 his first book, meditations with passing water (Rabbit Poets Series), was shortlisted for the QLD Premier’s Award. He is the editor of the sporadically-published online magazine, Marrickville Pause, and recently began a DCA at the Writing & Society Research Centre (WSU).

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

When the forest shrieked

by Sophie Finlay

drought glides with breaths of dust

burst of plume




fires are given names, converge in rivers —

Ruined Castle joins with Green Wattle Creek 

other fires spin into thin tornadoes, emitting fuel like pulsars


forests break in cellulose, cinders rain

and lap the shores

the waves are black, we are breathing this in

radiant wounds






glossy black

log runner



ground and bristle


posed ash-stiff in      alizarin

supplement feed the galaxias, the alpine fauna, the swamp skinks


seed-bank mint bush and bottle brushes

tolerance unknown

Published: October 2020
Sophie Finlay

is a visual artist and poet from Melbourne. Her poetry is published in multiple journals including Meanjin, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Plumwood Mountain journal and Shaping the Fractured Self, UWAP. She has been a finalist in several art prizes including the prestigious John Leslie Art Prize.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Lorikeet Inducement

by Michael Farrell

As the wise woman said there was a path to the left which

Seemed to swallow any who strayed in that direction and I

Was bored enough to try being swallowed just once letting

Myself be tugged along over the railway line by joggers

Clearly I was no longer in Fitzroy Gardens with its seductive

Lovers of fish and pelican and fairies and founding fathers

I read I am near Jolimont Station I read I’m in Yarra Park

Being ignorant and innocent of East Melbourne generally


Especially this particular segment which seems to veer

Towards Richmond I resist making superficial commentary

Until it ripens upon research or in other words can we know

What constitutes the sky when we know nothing of what’s

Buried alive beneath our feet I might have felt a spot of rain

Let’s say it was yesterday and today the streets are wet

Mynahs chirrup at emerging worms but turtledoves say

Nothing I only hear human voices when they’re querulous


Crow humour or philosophy makes it through the walls in

These gardens there are less phone calls being made more

Dogs being introduced there seems no possibility of meeting

Someone new unless you have a creature on a lead and then

Anything can happen but I wanted to be more interested in

Trees of all ages than in single men of few there’s no division

Between the prosaic and the poetic when it comes to elms

Gums and figs however ruined by pollarding or possum


Consumption well now I am making myself informed

Through reading about the Park or making assumptions of

Correspondence between it and other parks nearby as you can

Deduce I am no longer walking past the cars of furtive

Couples their hands full of Maccas or making routes between

The clumps of human-canine assemblage but am rather rooted

Listening to lorikeets in light ecstatic mode some tweet some

Eat then they swap places I don’t hear anything against them

Published: October 2020
Michael Farrell

Michael Farrell’s recent books are Family Trees (Giramondo), and the tribute anthology Ashbery Mode (TinFish). Since 2016, Michael has edited 11 issues of Flash Cove, designed by Wendy Cooper; as well as collaborating on the song ‘On The Border’, with Jimmy Hawk.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Matisse in Ventnor Botanic Gardens

by Blake Everitt

Matisse stands with the weaving perianth

embroidered robin of the orange leaf


calycle wing of colour-canticles –

bring Venus-algae from dark places


to leave the waiting antiphons

combing the air with brushes of light


in dreams of bread and wine

haunted by the Date Palm’s perfect line


the willow-tulip bows its head

leaving its reflection there.


In fuchsia-embers of fugues we breathe.


Matisse stands,

an embroidered lemon-chalice.


Split grains

in mandarin light

the rosé-blossom tide

sings of spring anemones.


The lavender-cantor of hidden ambergris

casts a spell


as the hespera soil receives

its clementine glass of silence.


The lemon-clef dawn

in seraphs of pollen


the cherub-water ripple

of leaves, calm in the broken hourglass.

Published: October 2020
Blake Everitt

(b. 1989) has had poems published in Harbinger Asylum (Texas), Pensive: A Global Journal of Spirituality and the Arts (MA), Time of Singing (Pennsylvania), The Poetry VillageBlack Lives Matter UKQuarr Abbey Newsletter, Eye Flash PoetryThe RecusantDead BeatsFriendly Fire Collective (Philadelphia), C.H.S newsletter, the anthology Book of Christian Poems, and The Blue Morphosis by GreenFingers Recordings. He has poems forthcoming in Hawk & Whippoorwill (MA), and The Dawntreader.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause


by Anne Elvey

[wpvideo 0JdIW9x1]

foot     fall     asphalt                                                                        Porosities

of crust     add     to the complex

resonance of       morning       A walking

track    Sound assembles

foot     fall     asphalt                                                                                      as

waves     that reach to     ear

with multiple vibrations of     air

& echo

foot     fall    


asphalt                                                                 over chambers of

ground      A welding of      bless &


foot     fall    

concrete                                                            The hum now     is

almost open     to histories

holstered by warning



fall     long grass                                                         Fox

traps     wait     amid

reeds     where swamp     hides

water birds     except

for two chestnut teals

whose        wing        beats          answer

an approach



fall     wet grass                                                                       Trees

are choired      From their lofts

ravens     always in my sister’s voice


foot     fall    

concrete                                                                   Harder to hear     are

remnants     of those engineers

who      go on bending world

to will     without     consent

foot     fall     asphalt

Studied     each step     gathers

to its timbre     the un-

even tremor of     today

foot      fall      ftt     fll      ft fl   ft f

Published: October 2020
Anne Elvey

lives and works on BoonWurrung Country in Seaford, a bayside suburb of Melbourne (Naarm). She is outgoing managing editor of Plumwood Mountain journal. Her recent poetry publications include On arrivals of breath (Poetica Christi, 2019) and White on White (Cordite Books, 2018). Obligations of Voice is forthcoming from Recent Work Press in 2021. Anne holds honorary appointments at Monash University and University of Divinity, Melbourne.

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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Coming and Going

by Ian Davidson


Cuckoo sounds


swallows skim trees


far out at sea waves curl


Crests hanging


Addicted to restriction

in love with lockdown

I tap my arm say, later

as along the way

lambs slither into the world

and begin breathing


The colours of sheep


Wild blue sheep come

down from the commonage

for the summer. Left on rough

pasture at the coast and

easily startled they turn

red and green as

marks of ownership

are slowly added until

they are all colour and

no sheep remains.


In the heat of summer their

heavy coats are worn off the

shoulder or left to hang

on ancient trees and free

of fleece their branding

temporarily absent

the sheep in just their skin

admire themselves

in rivers and pools

or stare deep into

each other’s eyes


The song of the hen



With smart red comb and

double yolk the hen can

clear rough ground

and lay eggs, some things

come in packages, the hens

have no fear

a hen can fold her wings and

legs and flatten

as in spatchcock to bathe

in the thin dust that rises


A hen is like a

dinosaur but smarter


Sheet music


The sheet flaps

demanding entry


behind the sheet

the sky a startling blue


Life is like that the

flap of the sheet only

the beginning the

blue sky beckons

the land an

unsolved mystery


The song of the tractor


Coming and going

between holdings,

land defined by

acts of survey and

distribution, acts to

establish an exact price


The song of the landworker


Leaving behind without a

backward glance

our slow walk across

a yard or sodden field

full buckets banging

on our knees

or the weight of

a sack of feed

on our shoulders


Land is not a parcel

passed from hand to hand.

Land is not revealed

with each torn layer.

There is no final prize

on which to feast your eyes.


Land lives in fields,

different every day.



Land gives no guarantees

but springs eternally

clouds bubble up

rain spits, weeds

wither and die

there is nothing like

knowing a

field for ever

in its unreliability


The song of the plasterer



We should have stayed home

and honed language like a

knife blade or a chisel

or given it the weight

of a sledge, or loaded it

onto a hawk to even out

a wall gone haywire,

or spread it so thin that

every grain of sand

impeded the even stroke

where words have a

gritty resistance

between the thin metal blade

and the rough

concrete background


In the wilderness of

teaching and administration,

held back from the

precipitous edge of


kept in security and distraction,

tools rust


No way out


The way of the world

is not the highway to the east

but the boreen

at the side of the house that

peters out in the bog


Where John Clare went crazy


Where Patrick Kavanagh cut and ran


Kittens taken too young

become natural born killers

their crazy dichromatic eyes.

like little birds that collect

along the fence,

like clouds on the horizon,

the quad cruising

the boundaries.


Language will let you down

its ponderous diction

its second-rate facility

a little pension

scraped from the sides

of permanent employment

the privileges that

steal clear speech have

taken the motor from your mouth

taken words and emulsified them

weakened your ready wit

left to pontificate to

an empty room on texts

nobody knows or cares about


The infinite hollows of an

internal life coming to nothing,

things echoing as in caverns

of the mind and body.


On land, language

must take its turn.


Song of Itself


So language is a virus so,

readily transmitted and

you is the host

and the orders of syntax

conceal the fertile chaos

of the word, planted

like an idea,

and in the headlong rush

to fill a sentence

words get forgotten

the word and what it is


Words must be

king and queen,

at the points where

farms meet and

fences transmit lambs

looking for fresh pasture

and grass as green as

words that emerge

from the mouths of

babes and weanlings.

Published: October 2020
Ian Davidson

Ian Davidson’s most recent poetry publications are On the Way to Work (Shearsman 2017) and Gateshead and Back (Crater 2018). Work forthcoming includes From a Council House in Connacht (Oystercatcher) and The Matter of the Heart (New Dublin Press). Brought up in Wales he now lives on a smallholding in Ireland and is Professor of Poetry at UCD.

Back to issue
From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause

Canto ciego / Blindsong

by Alfonso D’Aquino





of all that’s been said

in those imprecise confines

of the unseen

And like one vision inside another I saw

some formless form of blue light

like another insomniac shadow

its reflection illuminating the skin

of an iridescent lake

below the torches and stars


Air run-


with the forgotten colors of things





turning in-

visibly crystal-lined

in the inverted lake of insomnia

in the petrified reflection of its trees

among which I wander without moving

in the vain unsubstantive


stony in its near ir-



A hollow uni-

verse inside a hol-

low universe

without ti-

me or s-


a double void

neither lip nor bone


At time’s bore-hole no shadow

blood and broken


the raging flower of sunset

the end of a vision

a snuffed reflection among thousands of reflections

that irrepeat each gesture

inside the hole that remains

like an eye gouged out

a cardinal cloud

radiates and slides

behind the eyelids


The light I touch

in the middle of the night

my eyes deep-sunk in stone

ex tincture

nothing floats over

nothing transparentizing









de todo lo dicho

en el impreciso confín

de lo no visto


Y como una visión dentro de otra vi

aquella forma informe de luz azulina

como otra sombra insomne

que iluminara con su reflejo la piel de un lago


bajo las antorchas y los astros


Aire des-


con los colores olvidados de las cosas





va tornándose in-

visiblemente cristal-y-no

en el lago inverso del insomnio

en el reflejo petrificado de sus árboles

entre los que deambulo sin moverme

en la noche vana


pétrea en su cercana i-



Un universo hue-

co dentro de un uni-

verso hueco

sin ti

-empo ni es


un doble vacío

ni hueso ni labio


A la hora dada sombra ida

sangre y vidrios


la flor rabiosa del ocaso

el fin de una visión

apagado reflejo entre miles de reflejos

que irrepiten cada gesto

en el hueco que queda

como un ojo arrancado

cárdena nube

irradia y oculta

tras los párpados

La luz toco

en medio de la noche

desde los ojos hundidos en la piedra

ex tinta

nada sobre-

nada transparenta

el agua

Translated by:

Forrest Gander, a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, was born in the Mojave Desert and lives in California. Gander’s book Be With won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize; a new title, Twice Alive, is forthcoming in 2021. Among his many translations is Fungus Skull Eye Wing by Alfonso D’Aquino

Published: October 2020
Alfonso D’Aquino

(Mexico, 1959). His publications include the following poetry collections: Prosfisia (Premio Carlos Pellicer 1981), piedra no piedra (1992), Tanagra (1996), Naranja verde (1996, reissued 2002), Briznas (1997), Víbora breve (1999), Basilisco (2001), Astro Labio (2011) and fungus skull eye wing, translated by Forrest Gander (Copper Canyon Press, 2013). As translator, he published the anthology Eiko & Koma y otros poemas by Forrest Gander (2013). Presently he is the director of Odradek Editions.

Back to issue
From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause


by Alfonso D’Aquino

On this night of the suspended hour

I’ve seen through my shut eyes

as beneath the silence

the unstoppable succession of instants

their translucent alveoli

one after another

spherical voids

float by and return

without quite being seen


Rows of spheres inseparable

and yet desolate

tunnels in every direction

from one thought to another in the in-

versely reflected

expired exhalation

that slowly circulates behind my eyelids


In these nights of the vacant moon

when the lights flick out in houses in the woods

after a moment of total darkness

the preeminence of the night

makes itself felt in every hollow of the air

gone missing


the wind blows

and the tips of the pines

bow in its wake

the orphanhood of stars I tell myself

is just the same as that of worms

stirred up by the rain

far off on the highway

the lonely lights of a car

cut through the intermittent darkness

now there’s neither inside nor outside

with eyes open or gone blind

in the black air

a bright crack

which is its own luminous apparition

appearing between tree trunks

oozes a living sap


In this hour of time deferred

like fireballs

juggled from one hand to another

the spheres revolve in my head

subtle impalpable

they surround me and I see myself

inside and outside

of its optic-idea

by which the fruit goes green every day

the tree swallows itself into the seed

the stone won’t stop melting

water crystallizes in the glass

and the star dims when it shines


Far off and singular a red light

coming into the curve

closes that crack

and now only the rain

whose circular sound

stretches out the moment

continues filling the night

and cloaking the house

within the vascular network

of one of those vitreous floaters




En esta noche de la hora suspendida

he visto con los ojos cerrados

y como por debajo del silencio

la indetenible sucesión de los instantes

sus translúcidos alvéolos

uno tras otro

esféricos vacíos

que pasan y vuelven a pasar

sin tan sólo ser vistos


Hileras de esferas inseparables

y sin embargo desoladas

túneles en todas direcciones

de un pensamiento a otro

en la espirada espira inversa-

mente reflejada

que lentamente circula tras mis párpados


En estas noches de la luna vacía

cuando la luz se va en las casas del bosque

tras un instante de oscuridad total

la preeminencia de la noche

se hace sentir en cada hueco del aire



sopla el viento

y las puntas de los pinos

se inclinan a su paso

la orfandad de los astros me digo

es la misma que la de los gusanos

que remueve la lluvia

a lo lejos en la carretera

las luces solitarias de un auto

cortan la intermitente oscuridad

ahora no hay dentro o fuera

con los ojos abiertos o cegados

en el aire negro

una brillante grieta

que es en sí misma su luminosa aparición

entre los troncos de los árboles

rezuma savia viva


En esta hora del tiempo diferido

como bolas de fuego

que van de una mano a otra

giran en mi cabeza las esferas

impalpables sutiles

me envuelven y me veo

dentro y fuera

de su óptica-idea

en la que el fruto reverdece cada día

el árbol se consume en la semilla

la piedra no deja de fundirse

el agua cristaliza en el vaso

y el astro se opaca cuando brilla

Lejana y sola una luz roja

al dar vuelta a la curva

cierra la grieta

y ahora sólo la lluvia

con su sonido circular

que prolonga el instante

va llenando la noche

y envolviendo la casa

en la red sanguínea

de uno de esos alvéolos flotantes



Translated by:

Forrest Gander, a writer and translator with degrees in geology and literature, was born in the Mojave Desert and lives in California. Gander’s book Be With won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize; a new title, Twice Alive, is forthcoming in 2021. Among his many translations is Fungus Skull Eye Wing by Alfonso D’Aquino

Published: October 2020
Alfonso D’Aquino

(Mexico, 1959). His publications include the following poetry collections: Prosfisia (Premio Carlos Pellicer 1981), piedra no piedra (1992), Tanagra (1996), Naranja verde (1996, reissued 2002), Briznas (1997), Víbora breve (1999), Basilisco (2001), Astro Labio (2011) and fungus skull eye wing, translated by Forrest Gander (Copper Canyon Press, 2013). As translator, he published the anthology Eiko & Koma y otros poemas by Forrest Gander (2013). Presently he is the director of Odradek Editions.

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.