Skip to content
Back to issue
Special N.02 – Poets speak up to Adani

Octopus Speaking

by Jennifer Compton

In the underwater tunnel of the civic aquarium

the octopus leaned his wretched head


against the glass of his turbid pool

sucking on his breathing tube, like


a severed vein

so he could live.


He asked for his ocean. He asked me,

the daughter of the powerful race.


I was standing alone like a child stands

with her entry ticket in her hand.

‘Octopus Speaking’ was previously published in Parker & Quink (Charnwood, ACT: Ginninderra Press, 2004)

Published: August 2022
Jennifer Compton

is a New Zealand-born Australian poet and playwright.

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.