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

Sky Country

by Phillip Hall

for the Kulin Nation


… swept to scudding mist and manna,

to the white trunks of a slurred-over terrain,

the huge dark wing beats are a skirmish

of creation pouring out from the grey spiraling steam

as talons are thrust forward in a lunge

at ground zero before vertical recovery skids

to apex and another soaring

U-shaped dive that tears

earth by its roots, raising

a country out of a blue-smoky spray

now sweet with the scent of eucalyptus and mint:


blooming in a bowl felted and warily

watched over by another’s shallow-beating and quivering

charcoaled wings, the sinuous curves of country are cherished

in a loud descending wailing that gushes

open all the streaming waters and creatures of our time…

Published: July 2017
Phillip Hall

worked for many years as a teacher of outdoor education and sport throughout regional New South Wales, Northern Queensland and the Northern Territory. He now resides in Melbourne’s Sunshine where he is a passionate member of the Western Bulldogs Football Club. His publications include Sweetened in Coals and (as editor) Diwurruwurru: Poetry from the Gulf of Carpentaria. He has a poetry collection forthcoming with Canberra University’s IPSI series called Borroloola Class (due for release in September 2017), while UWAP will publish Fume in February 2018. Phillip loves to cheer.

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.