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From: Vol.06 N.02 – Intersecting Energies

The Climate

by Jennifer Mackenzie

an epoch in decline

kings will come and go

disorder and war will take turns in pursuing you

men will die on the battlefield

women will be abducted

small states will spring up

a fragmentary existence

will be theirs

and yours


rivers dry up

you will look back at

gleaming terraces once

flourishing with rice

& say

how did this happen?

how did this come about?


if ties are a one-way street

& just ties

then ties are slavery

dim-witted and foolish

we trusted you

now the horses are at the border

forest dogs howl


now we can only hear coming

a rushing river of mud


we are too far from the coast

the ocean is on fire

we cannot see it

we are too far away

*based on episodes from Pramoedya Ananta Toer’s Arus Balik, a novel set in sixteenth century Java

Published: July 2019
Jennifer Mackenzie

is a poet and reviewer, focusing on writing from and about the Asian region. Her most recent publication is Borobudur and Other Poems (Lontar, Jakarta 2012), and she has presented her work at a number of conferences and festivals, including the Ubud, Irrawaddy and Makassar festivals. In 2016 she held a residency at Seoul Artspace_Yeonhui, and is currently working on a new Indonesia-focused project, Navigable Ink, as well as a collection of essays, Writing the Continent.

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.