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Special N.02 – Poets speak up to Adani


by John Kinsella



from the First Movement, Inferno, of Franz Liszt’s ‘A Symphony to Dante’s Divine Comedy’


            Destruction is bigotry.



Abandon all hope and you here entering

here entering hope the gate the heat the light

abandoned pit of generations of generating


the constructivist hope the thermal incite

to agony and pain strung out over last days

of ornamental snakes and the brisk flight


of black-throated finches, the gurgle of ways

of hope and divinity and a name like Galilee

and Wangan and Jagalingou peoples’ land says


what rights of hope what draughts will flee

the hollows down to the sea and reef made hopeless

in its wreckage and ash rising in clots of adjectives to the glee


of executives fighting for the impoverished — a caress

of largesse of hope of entering the homes of the poor

to make an epic for the world that will stress


rivers and bush and forests and coral reefs and the store

of past that is underneath that foots the bill of now

are merely symbols in an advertising draw-


card for gates and ye and the shrinking self for

all our global aspirations all our dynamic equivalence

our souls our atman our states of being a store


of carbon life-forms bonded over the pits

of cultural extraction of data over the gate

of wealth — great wealth — at the expense


of love as deep as seams as seems to grate

on the nerves of the lost who think they’ve found

their way to higher states to patronise the poor to freight


ethics on a conveyor belt to furnace to abandon

to build a case against the protectors of life of biosphere

and advertise hope of you and us the close the never distant tonnes


of profits all to the greater good the greater glory no fear

of insulting the very earth they walk on, rolling it resoundingly

beneath their feet abandon you abandon ye abandon clear


and present danger as hook to ward off protest so agonisingly

frustrating to the mission to make the gate to go back & forth

through gate to break the gate fast track desert belt accordingly


brigalow belt in grassland denial to report back ‘patchy’ — a dearth

of Acacia harpophylla in the target in the crucible (‘the polygon’)

such survey exonerations of Buffel grass or beneath the coolabah a mirth


a kind of light-hearted get-together a mug of tea on the station

a back-to-work a seize-the-moment and a wonder at the lack of ‘things

created’ as a reconcilable future. Come, don’t hang back, fashion


your own path to the river to cross the Acheron to wash away what clings —

Eucalyptus brownii cheap by the dozen abandon this rough-barked life & canopy

& memories of ye coal fires choking us cancerous hope we could see what sings

when such ancientness is dug up and entered burnt with impunity.

Published: August 2022
John Kinsella

is an Australian poet, novelist, critic, essayist and editor. His writing is strongly influenced by landscape, and he espouses an ‘international regionalism’ in his approach to place.

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.