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From: Vol.09 N.01 – A Poetics of Rights

With Táamsas 

by Linda Russo
not being taught the names of natal trees; not knowing to sip the scent of flowering
plant relations; I fell in with the sweet rot of leaves at rest and mingling; that I might
quietly die back; (a nation’s offerings laying claim to my dying)

I press a thumb into creek mud to dissipate involuntary knowledge
beyond the scrim of water seeking (other animal footprints changing form)

one paw rubs the straight lines off a map till the palimpsest reappears 

the other paws muddy my inherited contract, each step following others’ steps 
to the edge of its undoing, where native plants grow freely out of this place and its claims

rhizomes send out nutriment and pulse into full flower cups of five petals
light to deep pink, solitary at the ends of branches gathered 
on thickety shrubs with small straight thorns, egg-shaped leaves and autumn hips
hairy, fleshy, reddish purple

the botanists renamed you Rosa nutkana and observed in detail your life cycle
with no mention of how to live in the mythic 
where humans changing into other beings 
  may escape instituted failures
Published: August 2022
Linda Russo

Ecospheric care worker and poet Linda Russo lives on traditional Nimíipuu and Pelúuc homelands, which span the North American States of Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Her published works include Participant (Lost Roads, 2016), Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way (Shearsman, 2015), and, as co-editor, Counter-Desecration: A Glossary for Writing Within the Anthropocene (Wesleyan University Press, 2018). She teaches at Washington State University and directs Ecoarts on the Palouse to explore how situated creative making can influence the way we understand relationship with land and the more-than-human world.

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.