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Special N.02 – Poets speak up to Adani

Mining Tax

by Siobhan Hodge

Let’s blame it on the times:

scattering before headlights


from mining trucks. Swaying tracks

arrest both lanes, dinosaur pads


wait for them to pass

before we can move on,


but the road is getting lean.


Buy a pen and I’ll draw

where money is born:


hole in the ground, catheter

seep from sepsis, drips through every


layer. We stand on filter paper:

nothing gets through


that won’t be discarded.


Chapters thicken like burns

and we carry stanzas home


with 5pm fidelity. Budget

for bliss. We’ll laugh all the way


to something.


There isn’t enough to strain

this season of sameness,


grilled up north out of sight,

but we’re filtering the bigger picture


through stones and stubs and strikes.

You’re out. There is life here, and it is wrapped


in plastic. A miracle of hauntings


and we have forgotten nothing.

The lines still run underground


and in rivers raw with split fish.

Taxation is no limit, poetry has no queue.


Dug up and dried out, we know

the solemnity of being bought,


but celebrate being paid for.

Published: August 2022
Siobhan Hodge

has a doctorate from the University of Western Australia in English. Her thesis focused on Sappho’s legacy in English translations. Born in the UK, she divides her time between Australia and Hong Kong. She has had poetry and criticism published in several places, including Cordite, Page Seventeen, Yellow Field, Peril, Verge, and Kitaab.

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.