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From: Vol.07 N.01 – Plant Poetics

Orchidaceaen Footholds

by Ben Walter




pencil shy faces on your buds,

these sweet small rosellas envy

fertile pods bound to the dirt;

blue and purple hair

with your freckles

and magnified names.


sleep through the night till

a steel wedge of sunlight

bares your bloom.






watchmakers, bird watchers,

dainty care to wings and bill,

keel and feet; a dry flock

of tiny paintings twitching

in the breeze.


metronomes of flight,

our applause finds no

echoes in wingbeats;

sing now silence

in the gasping gust.






such bristled wisdom;

this second birth founds

a face brimming with rings.

your mauve strands

(blotting senses)

see me clearly:

i am a toddler

fondling fur.






quiet midge with thread legs,

when the season sinks

your focus blurs, slapped

between hands and

crumpled in the air.






flowers, just flowers,

with two vain petals

adjusted like minutes;


whose presumption swells?

blossom, can I see

in you the earth?

Published: March 2020
Ben Walter

Ben Walter’s poetry, essays and short stories have appeared in Literary Hub, Meanjin, Overland and a wide variety of other publications. He is the fiction editor at Island magazine.

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.