Willo Drummond is a PhD candidate in creative writing at Macquarie University. Recently migrated from the wilds of the NSW Blue Mountains to the shores of Sydney’s Parramatta River, she has weathered previous lives as an actor, singer-songwriter and arts administrator. In 2012 she served on the assessment panel for the Varuna Publisher Fellowships and last year completed a Master of Research thesis examining the ethics of the lyric mode in Australian ecopoetics. Propagules for Drift and Dispersal formed part of this work. Her poetry and short fiction has appeared in Cordite, Meniscus and The Quarry.

Cooing to R.A

Mr A, mangrove man
          Mallarmé of the mud flats
                    I’ve taken you in to the jelly
          of my brain,1 in a kind
of mud-dove dreaming

You’ll fly with me forever
          now, we’ve simply no choice
                    in the matter. Once mud gets in
          to mood and memory, life
becomes mangrove in a minor key

Swamp dweller, fisherman
          I see you in the eye
                    of a Bush Stone Curlew; hear you
                              singing for your love; feel you slip
                                                                                through the gap
                                                                                in a waterfall of words,
                                                                                                                  rooting out
                                                                                                                  a manhole of meaning

You, of the in-between
          place; you, of the feathered
                    imagination; you, who wrote
                              yourself into existence, one bird
                                        at a time; I row with you, now, gently, along
                              the mangrove mile
                                                                                I dream with you
                under moonlight
                                                                                Fish scales glint
        in the tangle of your hair, and
on the breeze, I detect a hint
          of ‘no referent’
                under moonlight
                                                                                It comes and goes with the tide



1 “I sing softly/ from the jelly of the stone curlew’s brain”: Robert Adamson, “The Stone Curlew”