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Special N.01 – Martin Harrison Special Issue

At Varuna

by Leni Shilton

And then, the mist came in and the afternoon turned dark and closed, and it seemed I’d only ever sat here in this chair by the wood grain windowsill contemplating whether it was time to get up, or not, or to get a cup of tea or not, or to have a sleep or just stretch out my aching hip.

I gave too much thought to everything.

Then strangely, I would find myself doing something else entirely,

something I’d given no thought to at all, like folding the washing that had dried beside me on the drying rack, or taking a photograph through the window of the eucalypt that had come into bright relief against the white mist, that really was a photograph already because of its stillness and the natural frame of the window held on each side by the blue striped curtains.

All this was possible, but I just sat and thought of it all, surprised by the sudden intensity of the thought and wondered if books had been written on the subject, if anyone else had had this exact same thought. And I thought I should raise this over dinner because Martin would have some thoughts on this.

As quickly as the mist came, it moved to another space and like a retreating dream, went to hang over another house, another garden, I wondered if the thought was the mist, and then I thought I really did want a cup of tea, even if it was just to stop the thinking.

With Martin Harrison at Varuna September 2012

Published: September 2015
Leni Shilton

lives in Central Australia where she has worked as a creative writing lecturer, a prison educator and a bush nurse. Her poetry is published in journals and anthologies in Australia and internationally. Leni met Martin Harrison at Varuna -­ The Writers House where they read manuscripts and talked philosophy.

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.