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

Dew of Sun All in My Hair

by Fern Golden
I walked out on the tundra,
to lay down in the moss.
Dew of sun all in my hair;
I contemplate—the loss?
Or is it? Here I am, with brine,
and soot, and spruce, and pine.
For all that is repleting:
boletes and their seedlings.
My prayers go out—
and I receive.
Earth feeds me.

We talk about depreciation.
What about appreciation?
Blood of flower moon,
soon, fireweed will bloom.

Winter curled around me
bare, and I turned within.
Grief that claimed me,
and reframed me,
equal with chagrin.
I asked my heart,
where did you go?
—what should I know?
less than before.

And to my core,
I felt the heat,
refused to die
like coals beneath
sheets of ice
that lay in wait,
for our reckoning.
Yet don't hesitate;
blink and miss.

My heart stayed with me,
yet partly
stayed out on the tundra.
And I within the city:
a muted song of torpor.

Above wood frogs,
on downy fluff,
now solidified
into honey combs of ice,
thusly crystalized.
These shifts of grief,
to contemplate
light and tide
that re-create.

Beneath hoofprints of caribou,
who understand—
beneath the snow, upon the land
the whitest moss,
and cranberries, remain:
for those who know,
but only those who need.

Published: August 2022
Fern Golden

(they/them) is a neurodivergent Dena’ina Athabaskan artist from Alaska. Their poetry meanders the confluences of culture and language, ecology and belonging, and chronic illness and healing. Find them on Twitter @ferngoldenpoems.

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.