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From: Vol.03 N.01 – How Humans Engage with Earth

The muddied path

by Kathryn Fry

On the track, with crisp cracks at birdcall,

chainsaw and the rewind of a mechanical

shutter, the lyrebird whips and whirls close

by without pause. Our children collect stones.


The gums give way to floored trunks covered

in moss, thick enough to hide your hand, even

on boulders near the rich ferns by this creek.

Chartreuse and char-grey, the air water-heavy.


To have time to know the way light enlivens

texture, with you summing up the rocks and soil,

narrating the eras; perhaps this is where we’ll

get to one day when they’ve gone. Or to linger


and let this world lie inside somewhere. Right

now the children scamper for their game. Soon

they’ll be hungry, their lungs full of mountain air.

Already the little one is asleep on your back.

Published: January 2016
Kathryn Fry

relocated to the Lake Macquarie area from Canberra a few years ago. She has poems in various anthologies including Australian Love Poems, A Slow Combusting Hymn, Watermark and Once Wild (the Newcastle Poetry Prize Anthology 2014). Her poem “Under the Old Tangle” was longlisted for the inaugural Ron Pretty Poetry Prize awarded in 2015.

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.