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Special N.02 – Poets speak up to Adani

focal geology (2)  

by Patricia Sykes

instructions for engaging with a site:


which makes what sense on a pizza night’s

dark prowl of cars slewed and stopped

by an escaped deer’s graceful trot, tangle


of headlights, tango of engines, deer, hot

fuel, fuelled blood, strange antlers


how they are calm: picture disdain

high-held against the hungry monies

moaning in the pockets


sweep of the wild eye (panic could be building)

the abated klaxons, something being paid for


how will you tell of this later? the cold night

trapped in a swirl vapour, breath,

exhausts, animal, drivers, cars, each


an introduced and the low mountain

years before cut through to make this crash


perhaps you will speak of tariffs

as the boundaries we pay

for having crossed          does only


the tilted mind write rush poetry?

as if whatever lives must utter itself swiftly

from where it stands on thixotropic clay


everywhere feet dying in mud

everywhere hands


in help or pushing them under,

the accident eyes, the shine of smashed glass

which inform us we are here, in heightened


air, our nebulae faces blue and orbital

in a condition of being planetary


the particular makers of an atmosphere

‘focal geology (2)’ was previously published in Modewarre: Home Ground (Spinifex, 2004)

Published: August 2022

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.