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

Grade Six with Headlines

by Anne Elvey


We spill down a laneway like a ban. Arrests made at demonstration. We bundle and bump, bump up against joy. Victoria rejects last-minute mercy plea. Shoulder bone to supple bone we bump. Ryan to hang today. We know ourselves not quite a pack. Fire ravages Hobart. It is momentary this elapse, our escape. ‘In God’s Name’ Stop the War! Our only religion is muscle and the breath we carry invincible. The Post Office will allocate to every city, town, suburb and small centre in Australia … We tell strange confections of conspiracy – the way sins stain like spilt ink or how potato chips stand in before communion day for the wafer … a four-figure postal location number called Postcode. Our playground aisles hold elastics and clapping games. Yes vote.

Bodies weave out and in, arms formed and raised like gateways to gardens that spread into cloistered groves. Conservationists fight for lake. In the dust of the classroom, rods are painted blocks we do our sums with. Search for PM goes on. The girls as well as the boys build alley tracks inside our desks. Mr Holt swam out a long way, vanished. Beneath the lids we arrange the books just right. ‘Smoking’ dogs aid science. As Sister turns away dropped marbles fall into spaces for inkwells, make their way through and out triangular gaps in right hand corners below. Arts Centre takes shape in Melbourne. Like the cause and effect of holy cards lined up, we are a box of dominoes set out, nudged.


The Canberra Times, Thursday 19 January 1967
The Canberra Times, Friday 3 February 1967
The Canberra Times, Thursday 9 February 1967
Tribune (Sydney), Wednesday 19 April 1967
Western Herald (Bourke), Friday 9 June 1967
Tribune (Sydney), Wednesday 31 May 1967
The Canberra Times, Thursday 22 June 1967
The Canberra Times, Friday 8 September 1967
The Canberra Times, Monday 18 December 1967
The Canberra Times, Saturday 28 January 1967
The Australian Women’s Weekly, Wednesday 15 November 1967

Published: August 2022
Anne Elvey

is a poet, editor and researcher, living on Boonwurrung Country in bayside Naarm (Melbourne). Her poetry publications include Obligations of voice (2021), On arrivals of breath (2019), White on White (2018) and Kin (2014). Leaf is forthcoming with Liquid Amber Press in September 2022. Former managing editor of Plumwood Mountain journal, Anne holds honorary appointments at Monash University and University of Divinity, Melbourne.

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.