Skip to content
Back to issue
From: Vol.10 N.01 – The Transformative Now

How a Word Untangles Itself to More

by Ion Corcos

On a breakwall, the screech of a herring gull. 
             Sea rolls over stones, grey sand;
each time not the same. The water persists, 
offers itself to land, as if it crosses a border; 
it retreats, leaves a mark in a different place, 
             edge not fixed.
The littoral is named, but it is never constant;

just as the call of the gull is not the gull,
its yellow beak is not the origin of squawk.
             How a word undoes itself, 
unable to extend beyond its logic;
the way that what shifts and moves on earth 
is always other than it is at first sight;
             language entangles itself,
and in that enmeshment, collapses,

but rather than not being able to explain further, 
its fall does just the opposite;
             silence opens the way to notice
the sand, the sea, a weathered stone,  
as what they are, themselves, 
             and in situ;
the burden to understand what a stone really is

is lifted, the focus broadened 
to see the picture in its unbrokenness. 
Published: June 2023
Ion Corcos

was born in Sydney, Australia in 1969. He has been published in Cordite Poetry Review, Meanjin, Wild Court, riddlebird, The Sunlight Press, and other journals. Ion is a nature lover and a supporter of animal rights. He is the author of A Spoon of Honey (Flutter Press, 2018).

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.