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

Five Ways to Look at a Landscape 

by Jane Lovell
as Nature

To wonder at miles of unscripted snow,
its stories in the dazzled floss of reeds,
trails of caribou across the ridge.

as Habitat

To settle below low roofs, soft chevrons
pooling blue shadows around windows;
to know mountains, lakes, sky, their storms and winds,
days pared by snow, nights rimed with ice;
to tread carefully across that ice, navigating tracks
of snowmobiles and sleds, parallel lines
pocked with prints, tethered dogs, sturdy and patient,
the smell of blizzards deep within their fur.

as Artefact, as Wealth, as Problem

To exploit, employ, utilise
pits of saturated peat, deposits of pitch
and petroleum, oil-seeps;

to construct a thousand miles of pipeline
across the frozen ground from Prudhoe Bay
all the way to Valdez, crossing paths

where the caribou tread,
where the ghosts of caribou tread.

To extract the hot oil, draw it out below
the perma-frost, to gush through feeder-lines,
to chug from pumping stations to terminals.

Watch the ice darken and pool, your footprints
and tracks become ruts and gullies.

Put your black prints all over the map, wonder
at these fleeting summers, the feeble light
unable to restore the land, 

ponder the ancient plants
releasing their long-held breath across the Earth.
Published: August 2022
Jane Lovell

is an award-winning British writer whose work focuses on our relationship with the planet and its wildlife. She has been widely published in journals and anthologies in the UK and US and recently won the Ginkgo Prize. Essays have appeared in Elementum Journal, Dark Mountain and The Clearing and her most recent poetry collection, The God of Lost Ways, was published in 2020 by Indigo Dreams Press. More information can be found at

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.