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From: Vol.01 N.02 – Making way for other kind

The Silent Evolution

by Jan Price

underwater life size sculptures by Jason de Caires Taylor, near Cancun off the coast of Mexico


… an up-stir

shoots sand quick to slow sideways

as a grey stingray trails free of a dust-like cloud;

fluting cream underwings it flies away

low through the aged-blue ocean

soft-shadowing the newly reefed

vertical beings of deeper shades

as if here their height had yesterdays.

Sun shrapnels leisurely

through skylights of wave and wash

floating fragments down

dart-dappling waiting upturned faces


gathered they share shallow warmth

on sculptured flesh

and yet   stone-alone

obsessed only with the act of drowning

in bliss – lips smiling eyes closed.

Now a cello growls;

vowels round all four hundred figures

its breath skimming

intimate as sharks’ silk circling newcomers –

a rolled-brim knit-hated girl lollypop-cheeked

grins double-gripping a coins-unspent handbag;

a woman bare-breasted drape-hipped

arms cradling her belly

offers light’s wisdom to her near born;

a man keeling head up leaning back on his heels

arms wide palms open offers thanks

as if in a lightening-blue field of drought breaking;

a  nun with Please for a mouth

her face shadow-wrinkles in no other prayer;

a young man head-scarfed coral-knotted

hands at work but suddenly paused

senses love about his neck;

a man chin-relaxed blowing fish silver

bubbles mute sings ahhhh hymns;

a small curly crowned boy head down

sleeps sitting up without rippling fins;

a man arms crossed shields his face

from yet another promise soon to darken.

Shoals straining through the plankton melody

nibble from an English lady’s scarf

from a Buddhist’s large earlobe’s algae

from a mother’s orange sway-growing coat

from a hunched Chinaman’s toes.

And while fish of colours and stripes circumnavigate

feeding off the immortalised – all are unaware

souvenir hunters are dropping

black as frogs


against the light.

Published: July 2014
Jan Price

Jan Price’s poetry has been winning literary competitions (including her section in The Great River Shakespeare Festival Sonnet Contest, Minnesota, 2011), appearing in anthologies (such as Woman’s Work and Taking Flight), newspapers and literary journals in Australia and overseas for a number of years. Her artwork has appeared on book and journal covers.

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.