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From: Vol.09 N.01 – A Poetics of Rights

Below Ground

by Vera Fibisan
after Kathleen Jamie’s Surfacing
gills of ground come away
reveal the skin of another beast 
the trowel’s edge catches a chink of ivory or stone 
detached from permafrost
a carving sees light
as light hangs on to the horizon’s mound of sifted 
earth	    upheaving evading eroding 
a vertical edge colonised and deconstructed 

who carves this weathered landscape 
when the bears sleep and the wind forgets to scare
the ground squirrels into hiding?
beating the rusted scrap metal like an icy drum
the object clasped in hand
a ceremonial handle in ritual dance of becoming 
the task taken from the creature and transformed
to open a fissure in space-time
for the more-than-human
to sneak in and settle
on the village	 in the people
in shared salmon berries 
shared with us too
the flow of tendrilled water through country
outwards towards aurora

where a woman counts down to tide time 
to erasure time		            tapping the trowel
to the drum of returning ice water 
shaking and settling the cold carving
Published: August 2022
Vera Fibisan

Dr. Vera Fibisan is an Honorary Researcher at The University of Sheffield, where she completed a PhD in English Literature and Creative Writing. She is Editor of the creative writing journal Route57, and ASLE-UKI Postgraduate and Early-Career Representative. She has notably published poetry in The Sheffield Anthology (Smith/Doorstop, 2012), CAST: The Poetry Business Book of New Contemporary Poets (Smith/Doorstop, 2014), Plumwood Mountain Journal (4.1 and 8.1), the Wretched Strangers Anthology (Boiler House Press, 2018), PAN (2019, 2020) and Voices for Change Anthology (2020).

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.