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From: Vol.03 N.01 – How Humans Engage with Earth


by Julie Maclean

Sand flats and salt bush

mean nothing to us


yet in this sparseness

I marvel at the repetition


the clinging on

and the way I manufacture


kindness in needle bushes

parasols against the sun


Some days I could get used to

leaving tracks like wild dogs


an emu and his

chicks, a stumpy or a snake


Once I sailed Cooper Creek

on a flatbed ferry


this time I blow the top layer

off the gibber plain


in a truck         But we have arrived!

invading homes of spitfire birds


the intrigue of a lizard slide

At dusk jibber-jabber


up and down a tonal ladder

Always the urgency of a parrot


Gnats have started their

corroboree in a column of sunshine


before switching down

while a black snake effortlessly


lifts himself from the neck

of the gas bottle like a symbol

Published: January 2016
Julie Maclean

Julie Maclean’s third collection Kiss of the Viking (Poetry Salzburg) was published in 2014. Shortlisted for The Crashaw Prize (Salt), her work appears in international journals like Poetry (Chicago), Mslexia and The Best Australian Poetry (UQP). Blogging at

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.