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

Sumak Kawsay

by Robert René Galván
We gather the shards
of shattered trust,
the world ravaged
by longitudes
and latitudes
of unreason,
a market for every
desire but
wholeness –

to the Mother,
her abundant ice
falls and swells
the seas,
the forest shorn,
the gulf in a black shroud,
that delicate creatures
flee from her arms
and pathogens swim
in the wake.

What golden balm
to bind tectonic

Filaments unfurl
from a great frond
in the south,
from the breasts
of Pachamama.

As she sails across
our arbitrary mark
in the deep dark, 
a gilded sphere
descends in the empty

Sumak Kawsay is a Quechua word meaning ‘Good Life’, an economic model based on living in harmony with nature and other peoples.

Published: August 2022
Robert René Galván

born in San Antonio, resides in New York City where he works as a professional musician and poet. His collections of poems are Meteors, published by Lux Nova Press and Undesirable: Race and Remembrance, Somos en Escrito Foundation Press, Standing Stones, Finishing Line Press and The Shadow of Time, Adelaide Books. His poems have appeared in international journals and have been nominated for Best of Web and the Pushcart Prize. His poem, ‘Awakening’, was featured in the author’s voice on NPR as part of National Poetry Month in the Spring of 2021.

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.