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From: Vol.02 N.01 – Otherkind

What Isaac Newton Saw

by Rose Lucas

At Woolsthorpe Manor,

his childhood home,

the famous apple tree –

or perhaps its latter-day descendent,

a gracious Maid of Kent –

still droops its gnarled arms toward the

clottedness of earth,

giving up its wormed and floury fruit to the grass,

to the possibilities of turbulent

and muddy transformation:


Outwitting the plague, he sat for seasons in his quiet house,

its losses and constraints,

the drabness of its close routines;

almost a poet,

he watched

with such stillness and


and restlessness –

the quiet world unfolding in his garden;

an ordinary miracle that needs a different eye to see it,

a new tilt of the head, or sudden mood of

equanimity that allows leaves to rustle,

branches to brush the lawn,

a bird to move discretely and even

try out some autumnal singing –


each thing

sifting into


judged   or


until an apple simply

falls –

a muscular movement of energy,

and chance –

and a new constellation of elements



into view.


Woolsthorpe Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire. ©Pauline Brightling, 2011.

Published: January 2015
Rose Lucas

is a Melbourne poet whose collection  Even in the Dark was published by UWAP in 2013. She is the winner of the Mary Gilmour award for poetry 2012-2014. She is also a freelance academic, currently working at Victoria University.

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.