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From: Vol.07 N.01 – Plant Poetics

Floral Organs (a history of fire)

by Sophie Finlay

deep red swells from skin

an eyelid opens black

how deep do the roots go —

where is the tap?

the shutter mouths of stomata pinch the sky

as air dries

as the blue dawn snaps

leaves narrow to stretched tears

flash light, tinkling molecules

then measure the years of fire

in waist-high wattle

being reveals in shattered yellow

offerings of dust

to charm beaks and tongues

wade the undergrowth

wind stems through fingers

my arms cover

leafed,   heavy with particles

somewhere in the connections

of receptors and cells and secretions

they remember

daily red-shifts of light

pronouncing the orbit

and another light –

the muscle of flame, to deepen black trunks

they like the woodlands

they like to be entangled

swollen organs wait to erupt

raise oil and wax to red winds


blackened liquid can bleed from wounds

and time leaks from my body in a dark artery

Published: March 2020
Sophie Finlay

is a visual artist and poet. Her poetry is published in Meanjin, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Otoliths, Enchanted Verses, Verity La, and Shaping the Fractured Self (UWAP). She has been a finalist in several art prizes including the prestigious John Leslie Art Prize.

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.