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the terrarium by Sophie Finlay



I place tiny shells in her palm, intricate as cathedrals

I become cloud water, drawn over density —

                                             stone and gravity and core

A child plays piano while cloud seeps under the door.

A mother encounters the roots of trees entwined with cloudy webs of mycelium.

An extinct ammonite curls its soft body into a shell.

My muted wrists bleed twigs 

                  and from my body spills the heart of a fern

the terrarium will take the reader from the forest to the fragile creatures of a rock pool, from the Coral Sea to the ancient geology of Antarctica.

The power of lyric voice and imagery entangles with the crumbling landscapes of the Anthropocene.

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Sophie Finlay is a visual artist and poet. She lives works and creates on the lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. Her poetry is published in multiple journals including Meanjin, Australian Poetry Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, Plumwood Mountain journal, and more. She has also been a finalist in several art prizes including the John Leslie Art Prize and the Salon des Refuses exhibition, Lethbridge Landscape Prize.

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