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

Ornamental snake

by B. R. Dionysius

Denisonia maculata


They have carved up the Brigalow forest, etched

out strange designs in the dark leather of its belt.

We sense in the burnt bottom of the pan; gidgee

scrub encircled by roads, railways & stock routes

that pick off mobs of trees like a shooter’s quota

of roos. At night, giant mines blend with the sky

into one wide, black ocean. We emerge in the cool

as the young frogs bubble up from groundwater;

toads we bite, turn the armoured hulks into sacks

of fluid, but the froglets hop into our jaws & rest.

We taste your red. Your engines radiate in waves

of heat, but our fangs do not hurt them. So we hide

by day in the tunnels of deep soil cracks, under the

tip trays of fallen logs. We slither out of your holes.

Published: January 2016
B. R. Dionysius

was founding Director of the Queensland Poetry Festival. His poetry has been widely published in literary journals, anthologies, newspapers and online. His eighth poetry collection, Weranga was released in 2013. He lives in Riverhills, Brisbane.

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.