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From: Vol.10 N.01 – Private: The Transformative Now

Earth tide

by Andie Hay
We have GPS stations
anchored into bedrock
all over the world

To measure the rock? Well, yes,
these are fixed points to define
our reference systems

But notice—their data shows not
inert, unmoving stone
but waves—a twice daily rise
and fall, the pull and press of moon
and sun, of ocean and atmosphere
teased together. Tides, you see
the crests and troughs up to half a metre
apart, our GPS sailing
over solid earth

We fix them anyway
finding formulas to flatten
the breath and beat and wiggle
of this bedrock, using 'love
numbers'—named for their creator

That it works is astonishing
Our geodesists conjuring grids
of space to define and divide
this point from that one, holding
the whole tremoring mass still enough
for us to make use of it
One of our gentler acts
of domination

I was reminded of this recently
on hearing about parasitic wasps
and how they capture cockroaches
to feed and house their young
And I wonder
as she injects her formula
to pacify his brain, would
she, too, call it love?
Would she, too, tell her young
it is just a resource?
Would their innocent selves, eating out
his not-dead insides, ever say "But
Mum—it's moving"
Published: April 2023
Andie Hay

is currently a PhD student studying the validation of satellite measurements of the ocean. She writes from the waters of nipaluna/Hobart.

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.