Skip to content
Back to issue
From: Vol.03 N.02 – Decolonisation and Geopoethics

It takes time for clouds to cross the sky

by Renee Pettitt-Schipp

but I can forget, read them static, when I am always moving. On this early evening I am reminded, watching vaporous shapes morph between karris. Neither swift nor slow, their cumulus forms move like great ships from here to there.

Earlier, when we arrived, we took a walk down to the dam. It sat like a cup of light beneath high trees. My eyes were filled with leaves, their million green and unrepeated selves. As we followed the track I saw the jarrahs were drying, some dying, letting go in small surrenders of brown. The wind dropped their loss around us, the highest lives above rendered past tense, grey and shocking monuments.

Walking back, beneath the pines, the sudden flash of a Golden Whistler, a yellow flag on dark forest floor. She let us watch her, her find amongst the leaf litter too precious to surrender, her painted face tap, tapping her prize with the side of her beak. Then she let loose her ringing song and I gasped at its notes – flash of my child self, seeing her glowing form in rain and sunlight on a branch above the pond my father made. I did not know you were watching me. You turned me to you, drew me in, the light around us deep as honey.

In the morning you made love to me, and after my own shudder of pleasure, I could feel every cell in your body was born to this, your attention tuned as a hawk, honing in on movement, sound and muscle, the rush of life, a flow of yeses toward a sun. Later, walking through the forest, it was like a storm had passed between us, the playing out of its electricity, moving through new calm.

Walking beneath the canopy I took your hand, tried to memorise

                            the softness of your skin.

Published: July 2016
Renee Pettitt-Schipp

is an emerging writer who has been widely published throughout Australia. Renee is currently enjoying a cross-discipline approach, taking poetry into unexpected places. Renee has been recognised through many awards, including her recent shortlisting for both the ACU poetry prize and the inaugural Dorothy Hewett manuscript 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.