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From: Vol.04 N.02 – What are the animals saying?

Przewalski’s Pelts

by Siobhan Hodge

hese stone broad heads, mealy

fawn and striped, slip in

Chernobyl’s exclusion zone.


Marginal equine, long

thought gone, clawed back

even now poachers outpace


recovery, gut and tan

hides remember aspic

comb and gunshot blush


firmer than bitted teeth.

Fringes stained, they skulk –

no sweeter than injustice


being named for the first

to claim your murder,

casting mane and tail


as though swearing away

sigils. In relief.

Evading taxonomy


each cream coat,

claims steppe and desert

beyond all.


The last stallion seen

in the Gobi sands,

alone for thirty years,


or patiently buried there,

waiting for new

herds to be spent.

Published: July 2017
Siobhan Hodge

has a PhD in English literature. She won the 2015 Patricia Hackett Poetry award and has had poetry, reviews and articles published in numerous places, including Westerly and Cordite. She is Reviews editor for Writ Review and an Associate Editor for Rochford Street Review, and has a chapbook Justice for Romeo coming out with Cordite Books in 2018.

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.