wood & whiskey


POETRY WHICH EXPLORES GOTHIC LANDSCAPES, RUGGED TERRAIN
AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS LOST TO MYTH AND LEGEND

trigger warning


The following content contains graphic descriptions of animal cruelty

The Lowlands Of Scotland

Clouds creep and curl around trees like phantoms.
The grandest of falls collapse into lakes that snake
through, down and into ravines running their silver
under ramshackle bridges. Families of sheep graze on
vast pastures of beige and green blotted with boggy
marshland lying as still as a November night under
the patient freeze of time, and beyond, at dusk, the
last quadrant of sunlight bows before the valleys.

The Decimation Of The Flying Foxes

[Pteropus]: a genus of Megabats, commonly known as fruit bats. Flying foxes are the largest in the world. The only nocturnal pollinator, they are located on the Tropical Islands and mainland of Asia.

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, 2019

After her mother was electrocuted on overhead powerlines, a female orphan was found crawling on the nearby pavement by a local resident, her grey, pence-sized face attacked by crows. At three weeks, her frail, trembling body was taken to a rehabilitation home, where the carers wrapped her in small cotton rolls of fuscia and sapphire. They called her Joya. She was bathed, cleaned with Johnson’s Baby Wipes and given quarterly bottle feeds of formulated colostrum and goat milk. Refusing to suck on a pacifier, Joya cried for four days

waiting for her mother, heartbroken and horrified. Her carer spoke to her softly, massaging her small muzzle and gently rocking her against her bosom. Eventually, Joya was at peace. She wrapped her wings around a teddy bear, and tucked her foot in, falling into a deep slumber with a heated pouch and dummy in mouth. A volunteer received a call in the early hours about a palm-sized, hairless bundle brought into a house by a cat. On arrival, he discovered a premmie. Her sunken eyes sealed shut, her thin ears curled inwards. Her breaths shallow,

and short. Severely underweight and dehydrated, he sheltered her in a jacket, lay her on a heated pad and back at the centre, the little girl was given regular fluids via intraperitineal injection, glucose solutions and probiotics; her jaws too weak to suck on a teat. She passed away in the night in her humidicrib. A six-week-old black male was trapped in a large aperture netting while trying to forage garden lychees after his mother flew from the colony one night and never returned. They snipped away the stiff mesh that grasped his wings and throat. His

whole vulnerability in their hands. Reserved, inquisitive. His ears twitching, turning, tuning in to their talk of ‘slice and dice’ webbing, big enough to poke a finger through. At the rehabilitation home, he was bottle-fed and given small pieces of steamed, ripe pear. Here, this precious treasure, with his keen, sniffling nose and deep hickory eyes circling the room, was named Valiente. His carers massaged a small bead of macadamia oil on a small injury to his wing, as they observed for any dieback. One late afternoon, three carers received a call about a large

bat stuck in fencing that guarded an unkempt field. On arrival, their worst fears were realised. The extreme drought forced the mother to venture further for food. With her son tucked under her wing, gripping his teeth securely to her nipple, arms clutching her body, she flew into a stretch of barbed wire. Its coiled whipsaws snarled malicious, slicing her wings with caltrop and claw, shredding her skin and pulling the viscera out of her two-week old. As she tried to detach the wiring with her mouth, the razors carved her whole jaw open, tearing out

several teeth, spearing her throat. Their crisped cadavers stained to vermillion. Mounds of grey and black-headed bats were found underneath trees the subsequent morning. When we talk of die-off, we’re talking in the tens of thousands. Wheelbarrows of dead bodies with umbilical cords boiled alive …brains were completely fried…they only give birth to one child a year… a noxious, red-iron oxide loomed ominous over New South Wales in the December night. 230ft blazes and carmine-tipped clinker scorching mammals and their screams into disappearance.

9 weeks laterJoya and Valiente swing from pole to branch as they lick and chew sweet chunks of mango, custard apples, grapes and soft banana in their creche. Trilling black, grey and red-headed faces all jostle underneath a ceiling of Melaleuca flowers. (Joya always likes to help herself to the apples first, much to Valiente’s, and every other bats’ annoyance.) Their large, leathery wings, soft as eyelids, wrapping their bodies into slow-swaying, delicate ornaments. That evening, the two surrogate parents drove out to a wide clearing, the silhouettes of woodland reaching further

and further. In the backseat lay a large chirruping crate with two curious figures flapping eagerly from inside. Opening the doors, a warm draught flowed through their hair like the return of a forgotten memory. They raised the cage into the air and opened the latch. The stigmas of the land began to open. Welcome to the world, children. After getting their bearings, they stretched out, and let their feet go. Grand wings, broad as the breeze, gliding towards the blossoming eucalyptus forests. The flints still flickering, the gears still grinding, somewhere.

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WOOD & WHISKEY

POETRY WHICH EXPLORES GOTHIC LANDSCAPES, RUGGED TERRAIN AND HISTORICAL ACCOUNTS LOST TO MYTH AND LEGEND

trigger warning

The following content contains graphic descriptions of animal cruelty

The Lowlands Of Scotland

Clouds creep and curl around trees like phantoms.
The grandest of falls collapse into lakes that snake
through, down and into ravines running their silver
under ramshackle bridges. Families of sheep graze on
vast pastures of beige and green blotted with boggy
marshland lying as still as a November night under
the patient freeze of time, and beyond, at dusk, the
last quadrant of sunlight bows before the valleys.

The Decimation Of The Flying Foxes

[Pteropus]: a genus of Megabats, commonly known as fruit bats. Flying foxes are the largest in the world. The only nocturnal pollinator, they are located on the Tropical Islands and mainland of Asia.

QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA, 2019

After her mother was electrocuted on overhead powerlines, a female orphan was found crawling on the nearby pavement by a local resident, her grey, pence-sized face attacked by crows. At three weeks, her frail, trembling body was taken to a rehabilitation home, where the carers wrapped her in small cotton rolls of fuscia and sapphire. They called her Joya. She was bathed, cleaned with Johnson’s Baby Wipes and given quarterly bottle feeds of formulated colostrum and goat milk. Refusing to suck on a pacifier, Joya cried for four days

waiting for her mother, heartbroken and horrified. Her carer spoke to her softly, massaging her small muzzle and gently rocking her against her bosom. Eventually, Joya was at peace. She wrapped her wings around a teddy bear, and tucked her foot in, falling into a deep slumber with a heated pouch and dummy in mouth. A volunteer received a call in the early hours about a palm-sized, hairless bundle brought into a house by a cat. On arrival, he discovered a premmie. Her sunken eyes sealed shut, her thin ears curled inwards. Her breaths shallow,

and short. Severely underweight and dehydrated, he sheltered her in a jacket, lay her on a heated pad and back at the centre, the little girl was given regular fluids via intraperitineal injection, glucose solutions and probiotics; her jaws too weak to suck on a teat. She passed away in the night in her humidicrib. A six-week-old black male was trapped in a large aperture netting while trying to forage garden lychees after his mother flew from the colony one night and never returned. They snipped away the stiff mesh that grasped his wings and throat. His

whole vulnerability in their hands. Reserved, inquisitive. His ears twitching, turning, tuning in to their talk of ‘slice and dice’ webbing, big enough to poke a finger through. At the rehabilitation home, he was bottle-fed and given small pieces of steamed, ripe pear. Here, this precious treasure, with his keen, sniffling nose and deep hickory eyes circling the room, was named Valiente. His carers massaged a small bead of macadamia oil on a small injury to his wing, as they observed for any dieback. One late afternoon, three carers received a call about a large

bat stuck in fencing that guarded an unkempt field. On arrival, their worst fears were realised. The extreme drought forced the mother to venture further for food. With her son tucked under her wing, gripping his teeth securely to her nipple, arms clutching her body, she flew into a stretch of barbed wire. Its coiled whipsaws snarled malicious, slicing her wings with caltrop and claw, shredding her skin and pulling the viscera out of her two-week old. As she tried to detach the wiring with her mouth, the razors carved her whole jaw open, tearing out

several teeth, spearing her throat. Their crisped cadavers stained to vermillion. Mounds of grey and black-headed bats were found underneath trees the subsequent morning. When we talk of die-off, we’re talking in the tens of thousands. Wheelbarrows of dead bodies with umbilical cords boiled alive …brains were completely fried…they only give birth to one child a year… a noxious, red-iron oxide loomed ominous over New South Wales in the December night. 230ft blazes and carmine-tipped clinker scorching mammals and their screams into disappearance.

9 weeks laterJoya and Valiente swing from pole to branch as they lick and chew sweet chunks of mango, custard apples, grapes and soft banana in their creche. Trilling black, grey and red-headed faces all jostle underneath a ceiling of Melaleuca flowers. (Joya always likes to help herself to the apples first, much to Valiente’s, and every other bats’ annoyance.) Their large, leathery wings, soft as eyelids, wrapping their bodies into slow-swaying, delicate ornaments. That evening, the two surrogate parents drove out to a wide clearing, the silhouettes of woodland reaching further

and further. In the backseat lay a large chirruping crate with two curious figures flapping eagerly from inside. Opening the doors, a warm draught flowed through their hair like the return of a forgotten memory. They raised the cage into the air and opened the latch. The stigmas of the land began to open. Welcome to the world, children. After getting their bearings, they stretched out, and let their feet go. Grand wings, broad as the breeze, gliding towards the blossoming eucalyptus forests. The flints still flickering, the gears still grinding, somewhere.

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THE WRITTEN CONTENT ON THIS PAGE IS COPYRIGHTED BY LAW. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO FEATURE ANY OF THE WORK OR ARE A LITERARY EDITOR/AGENT/PUBLISHING HOUSE, PLEASE GET IN CONTACT VIA THE FORM.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.