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Walk #4

by Vahni Capildeo

But look, we have a tree wrapped red and silver

like a Solo sweetdrink. But look, we have trees

lit green and silver like a 7-Up. Christ-

mas. Fizz of deranged birds. Old houses whisper.

I wish you would kiss me as much as you like

says Mille Fleurs, unhappy behind galvanize.

Returns the air: I wish you would kiss me much more.

Cassia fiddle-de-dees. Lost horses

harlequinade lost racetracks. A plane crashes

without sound, in the experimental past.

The tram line was busy. Schoolgirls dressed like milk

must not go out in the rain. Has it been raining?

Mindless carolling could be an ordinary mode.

Oxygenated like a chorister,

having slept in excelsis, walk on like mud

holding you in consciousness of trenches

of the buried, excavated, reburied

locals, once beheaded to be examples,

now under buildings that dominate photographs.

A bed is a lit space. A lit space is not

a bed. Men startle, running chunkily,

trees guardant beside. Let them eat your dust,

women of silver, running like hurtless light.

Nocturne #1

Published: October 2020
Vahni Capildeo

is Writer in Residence at the University of York, where their research focus is on silence. Recent work includes Skin Can Hold (Carcanet, 2019), Odyssey Calling (Sad Press, 2020) and Light Site (Periplum Poetry, 2020), reflecting Capildeo’s interest in place, plurilingualism, and immersive or participatory performance, such as Trinidad’s traditional masquerade.

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.