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From: Vol.07 N.02 – Writing in the Pause


by Janet Jiahhui Wu

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seeds  ovaries  half flowers

heads buried in wombs

break  the woody bread

snake  around the waist of the cross  the edges burrow

the shadows name  bulbs pale green  hurry our footsteps into dawn

through the rushes  unit small families

straw-colored demands  against the furry gray

buildings perennial  overtake our place  little parts in their aquatic habitats

swim against the current  onto our plates

suction  digestion  planes  carry their boxes  sell  unto us

slice us  with a rudimentary blade

fjords  tree-like  mountains  rock-like

weep us  with wheat  barley  maize  and rice

divided  like sticks of sugar canes

rotting  like cavities in teeth

petrol prices rise and fall like the tussock grasses

wind!  do you not blow   across countries?

pushing  classifying  grating  demystifying  elated  enthusiastic

stamen bisexual  sometimes unisexual  or sterile

spike and make

amenity  humanity  amending  repenting

virgin soils

torn or eroded

harvest a berry  or capsule

the black seeds  of civilization

the lilies  forming clumps  overcrowd the streets or parks

ornamental in their whorl  hasty in their pattern

please  help us forget—

how good  how precious  how sad

a sickness brings

veins  marbled on the margins

lights  lobed in their printed forms

friendliness  perhaps unwise to have cultivated

loneliness  the leafless wandering without roots

join hands  in apples  pears  and quinces

the husk of an almond morn

swarm basils  thyme  sage  and parsley over common graves

let the whole of circular life  circle

let the panflower prick

petals  paper  eyes

arms of the dandelion

let scatter all the ears

opposites  absences

all directed towards the bloom

when the night rhombic

scatters the oblong feather

we alternate

but towards death

with constancy.

Published: October 2020
Janet Jiahhui Wu

is a Hong-Kongese-Chinese-Australian visual artist and writer of poetry and fiction. She has published in various literary magazines such as Cordite Poetry Review, Mascara Literary Review, Rabbit Poetry, Plumwood Mountain journal, foam:e, Tipton Poetry Journal. She currently lives in South Australia.

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.