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To see the world differently

Shaking our sense of self and place

from David Brooks: “What is crazier, to say that ducks can count? Or to say that they cannot?”


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Nadine Schmoll asks “What can we learn from nature to create more mutually beneficial or reciprocal relationships between ourselves and the world around us?” Nadine points to the symbiotic relationships between corals and zooxanthellae algae, mycorrhizal fungi and plants, bees and flowers, and to these could be added the relationships between ourselves and the microbial communities in and on us (is there really a divide), between phytoplankton and the air we breathe, between trees and rain and everything else.


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How do we draw together a billion minds (8 billion more precisely), full of billions of stories (most of them prose), if not with the lingering transparency of poetry? Well, at least a million…


Where and what is the song in us our poems might tap again (and again) out of our bones?


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From Andie Hay: Can even the blood sucking leeches be loved? And the mosquitoes? And the viruses they carry? And what about the carelessly destructive humans? Can they be loved too?


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From SB: How can the Anthropocene be rendered as a multiscalar experience so that humans grasp what looms as terror-inducing enormities at macro-meso-micro levels?


Also, what would it look and feel like if the business as usual model was hijacked, seized or fallowed for essential deep-cleansing?


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From Jane Williams: The Harvard Gazette quotes Marlene Zuk, a professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior at the University of Minnesota, as saying “There is no ‘progress’ in evolution. No living thing is trying to get anywhere. And humans are not at the pinnacle of the evolutionary ladder.”  Reporting on Zuk’s debunking of the popular myths that describe evolution as a linear process adapting organisms perfectly to their environments, Alvin Powell explains that evolution is, rather, “the ultimate tinkerer, always having to make do with the parts on hand.”  What, Jane asks, would it look like, in any case, for us to be fully evolved beings? And if we are always circling, in flux, adapting and being adapted to, how does that change how we think of ourselves and our relationships?


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From a conversation with Kim Nielsen-Creeley: Imagine an Australia without blackberries, starlings, foxes… without all the creatures dumped in estuaries and bays by traders over centuries… without the colonisers. The list is so huge. The wrong oyster in the wrong place, the crown of thorns starfish plundering the Great Barrier Reef. Lifeforms travel, it’s true, from one place to another, with or without humans, and including humans. I long, nonetheless, to look out over land not carved up by invasives. Usurpation is so easy to recognise and so immediately challenging and so much a part of our daily experiences. What if this conflict were the exception instead of the rule, what if keeping a balance, negotiation, sharing responsibility, mattered more in all our hearts, and if it does, why can’t we tell?


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From Kerryn Coombs-Valeontis: In Sand Talk, Tyson Yunkaporta says that we need to be entering the “1000 years of being a janitor species” that is needed to clean up the mess we have made with the Earth (essentially).  Cleaners are usually considered lowly – how do we poets, engage our radical humility to encourage, illuminate, and co-create this era that Earth’s survival may depend on?


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Read the latest issue

The Transformative Now

VOL.10 N.01

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.