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Special N.01 – Martin Harrison Special Issue

Western Wind

by Jill Jones

i.m. Martin Harrison


Sometimes a failed notion to copy

nature or autumn into words,

it was a good idea, syntax

or the party of pattern between leaves


I’m no giant but sometimes I dream

places from heights, very blue harbours

linked by bridges and arcane currents

it’s better not to understand


If you put two things together

you have two things which may be

more than you had before, or less


The canal ripples, I guess it’s a westerly

breeze blowing through the archipelago

As a giant on a plane I saw

the dark chains of islands

and almost white morning water

It wasn’t a dream, not even a notion


Flying isn’t natural nor is anything

anymore, the world is hazy over the Baltic,

or over the dam, all the bright horses

won’t save you, nothing, not even a line

read out over the phone


But if you pick a way through the archipelago

it might be this breeze you feel

that’s come all the way across earth

and leaves you that way

I was honoured when Martin Harrison asked me to launch his book, Wild Bees, in Melbourne in 2008. He was also kind enough to write an endorsement for one of my books a few years previously. We were friends. We talked about poetry, and much else besides. We talked at events, in offices, in cars, houses, the outdoors. We talked over food, gin, wine, coffee. We talked in Sydney, in Wollombi, other places. I miss him. There was still a lot to talk about.

Published: September 2015
Jill Jones

was born in Sydney and has lived in Adelaide since 2008. Recent books include Wild Curious Air, winner of the 2021 Wesley Michel Wright Prize, A History Of What I’ll Become, shortlisted for the 2021 Kenneth Slessor Award, and Viva the Real, shortlisted for the 2019 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Poetry and the 2020 John Bray Award. In 2015 she won the Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry for The Beautiful Anxiety. She has been an academic for a number of years, but has also worked as an arts administrator, journalist, and book editor.

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.