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From: Vol.03 N.02 – Decolonisation and Geopoethics

Manna Wattle Pushes to Thrive Despite Macro and Micro Global Aggressions

by John Kinsella

The spread of influence up and down the hill

is barely the proliferation, the profusion

of manna wattle. A winter blazing.


Spokes emanating from the ant colony

under the clutch of jam trees opposite

the red shed’s wall-sized canvas door,


halfway to the summit. These mannas

are up against it as much as anything else,

with human majorities stomping on what


can be stomped. I doubt Swift truly

loved ‘nature’ and his Lilliputian

anxiety is more than a focus


on the monstrous phallus

or the Brobdingnagian crevasse,

the gully through which male


and female flower parts might tumble.

When we first arrived, I walked

with handfuls of fruits and dropped


into erosion lines veining from the gully,

and now so many years later, the resistance,

the rise, these acts of being. I walk


amidst their plethora. I walk in amazement.

I shelter from the land-clearers and know

this is no surfacing on defoliated ground


of the next generation that will be mowed

down down. With fallout sickness

more than an act of satire, more


than an act of verbal disgust,

the mannas will push health

beyond the spectrums of aggression —


those spiritless realm where flowers

are decoration and their bodies scaffolds.

Manna wattle lives outside plantations.

Published: July 2016
John Kinsella

John Kinsella‘s most recent volumes of poetry are Drowning in Wheat: Selected Poems (Picador, 2016) and Firebreaks (WW Norton, 2016). His most recent collection of short stories is Crow’s Breath (Transit Lounge, 2015). His investigation of “place”, Polysituatedness: A Poetics of Displacement, is due out with Manchester University Press late 2016. He is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge University and Professor of Literature and Sustainability at Curtin University.

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.