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From: Vol.09 N.01 – A Poetics of Rights


by Annette Skade
From the pier you are taken to see rocks 
worn slippery smooth by the sea.
Grey movement lifts the veil of distance
to show seals basking – 
not disturbed or even curious about
the cutting of the engines,
the mobile phones raised,
the putt-putt-putt of motor restarting. 

You are taken to drift a moment offshore, 
on the edge of the reflection of scots pines 
in water, to make out a nest in the fork
of great limbs. Out of forget-me-not sky 
the bird itself: a sea eagle,
serrated wingspan slicing ever-higher circles
above a scatter of small islands
piled with green scrub.

The jetty is clear of rope and fish-box, offers 
benches to wait for the boat back. You pay 
the Office of Public Works, 
push through the turnstile to skirt 
azaleas, magnolias, rhododendrons.
You wind your way inside to an oblong pool 
lined with tiles the colour of Ionian,
the snug centre of so many boxes.

First the sea: a living barrier shields 
this Edwardian house. At the margins, 
glossy hedges deaden stray sound
from the village on the mainland,
amplify peeps and chirrups of finches
and blue tits. Further in, 
well-pointed walls, wrought iron gates
open onto colonnades and porticos. 

The water in the pool is a glass brick. 
Bees and dragonflies on lavender
buzz between ornaments from a tour
of Europe or the Far East.
Boxes within boxes 
hide the house from the wild Atlantic,
screen the island with palisades of green
from the country it will soon be returned to.
Published: August 2022
Annette Skade
has lived on Ireland’s Atlantic coast for many years. Her poems are published in Ireland, the UK, the US and Australia, and her collection Thimblerig was published in 2013. For the past few years she has mainly been writing ecopoetry, and her poems have recently appeared in Channel Magazine, Madrigal, Southword and Poetry Bus among others. She has recently had work accepted for the upcoming New England Review, ‘The Door Left Wide: A Tribute to Eavan Boland 2023′. She is currently writing a new book-length work Alga, for which she received an award from the Arts Council of Ireland. In 2021 Annette was awarded a doctorate from Dublin City University for her research on the poetry of Anne Carson.

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.