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Special N.01 – Martin Harrison Special Issue

Late Afternoon

by Leni Shilton

The late sun shines silver in the grass fields,

in the stretch of spinifex sprouting after rain.

It looks like fertile country

but it’s not.

As the wind dips, the quiet rumbles in my ears,

all the world centres here,

under the falling sun,

the country a gift of light and softening air.

I hear the night being called in,

kettles bang, voices lift in the stillness –

the fire coming to life,

and smoke rests along the creekbed.

Before the cold settles for the night

we hobble the camels, pile firewood.

And as the heat falls from the sun

I breath warmth into my skin,

that most days I cover up

for fear of burning,

this late afternoon light is a gentle change.

Late afternoon

Published: September 2015
Leni Shilton

lives in Central Australia where she has worked as a creative writing lecturer, a prison educator and a bush nurse. Her poetry is published in journals and anthologies in Australia and internationally. Leni met Martin Harrison at Varuna -­ The Writers House where they read manuscripts and talked philosophy.

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.