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From: Vol.08 N.01 – Embodied Belonging: Towards an Ecopoetic Lyric

The Angel of the Forest has a Migraine

by Beth Spencer

The Angel of the Forest has a migraine 
She lies on a platform suspended high
above the forest floor 
willing it to be gone, 
willing all the pain in all the world 
in through her veins, into the fine-spinning 
of her cells, the dendrite branches 
the pink-grey curls, parched lips, riven heart
the soft lining of lungs 

— as the lungs of the world cry out
— & the matter of the planet burns
— and the sponge of the ocean leaps 
in anger

But the Angel in her torn dress, patched 
wings, can hold only so much to her chest 
only so much grief in the cup of her soul 

Until the trees rip the sky apart 
calling up the river’s blood 
And everything beating and being 
in the forest breathes and listens 
& weeps too

This poem is inspired by the Weld Forest Angel, with thanks to all forest protectors.

Published: November 2021
Beth Spencer

Beth Spencer’s books include Vagabondage (UWAP) and How to Conceive of a Girl (Random House). The Age of Fibs won the CBdL Award and will be published as an expanded print book in 2022. Her work has frequently been broadcast on ABC Radio National. She lives on GuriNgai / Darkinjung land on the NSW Central Coast. / @bethspen

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.