quandong kojonup djeran
John C. Ryan (Edith Cowan University, Australia)
maybe it’s a quest for kinship here, but
I quite like caravanning across town
to a rendezvous with a quandong tree.
around Kojonup, he says, the farmers’
wives gather the fruits for jam. like little
pomengranates they judder there –pluck
pluck- as the double-decker sheep trucks
bound for Katanning, shake the ground –
now the pulp, tempered to dragon’s blood,
is cracked like an egg shell over petrified
medulla – resting deeper in, an amygdala
of a nut with a faint wintergreen taste,
a macademia crunch. cigarettes fall &
we crack the miniature brain with a
tyre iron from the boot of the Holden,
exposing: the scandal of
the dispersion of nuts & the wind before
winter mark the spaces between seasons,
soft here like sutures rather than ruptures
and snake roots tangle in quorum below.
John C. Ryan is a second-year Ph.D. candidate at Edith Cowan University. His dissertation invokes the writer-as-botanist tradition of John Clare, Henry David Thoreau, and Pablo Neruda to create poetic interpretations of the unusual and stunning flora of Southwest Australia. He is a graduate of the University of Lancaster’s M.A. in Environmental Philosophy, and his research interests include ecophilosophy, landscape writing, and the human-plant relationship.