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From: Vol.10 N.01 – The Transformative Now

prayer for kunanyi

by Alex McKeown

If the mountain feels uncomprehended
let it know that its every nook
has been seen sometime by somebody
that even a favourite book cannot be savoured whole
in one moment though each word
is a gift and each page an adventure.
Let it not forget
we remember all of its silhouettes
from north, south, east and west, since it
means home to us and home,
no matter how long estranged,
stays learnt by heart.

If the mountain feels the urge to stray,
frustrated by its own immensity and commitment
to an unwavering position, let it recall
we all take it with us on the plane,
through us it has seen glaciers
canyons, skyscrapers, the depths
of the oceans and breadth of the deserts.

If the mountain in winter fears that its icy exterior
makes it seem cold-hearted and hateful,
feels that our eyes are filled with bitter contempt
when a breeze blows through its snows into us,
let it recall the icy palm
of love on the infant’s fevered brow
and that warmth is only felt through knowledge of coldness.

If the mountain is lonely
let it bask in the brightness of the sun, find solace
in the spirit fumes of the moon:
these two will always be there for you.
And know that though we may struggle
with our lives and be restless and sometimes leave you
we will come back to you.

Published: June 2023
Alex McKeown

is a Tasmanian poet. His chapbook of translations from the pastoral poetry of Antoinette Deshoulières was recently released by the UK’s Penteract Press. A sampling of his work can be read on his website at

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.