Friday 8 February 2013

Kaitlyn Plyley

Glasshouse Mountains

A thundercloud made solid
and fallen to the earth. 
A wizarded beast. 
It hunches in stone,
leaning for the migration south. 

They huddle behind curtainous trees,
a threatening presence. 
Heads swivel as the train turns,
always keeping them in view. 
Always just in view. 
If we took our eyes off, they would move
and in a flash, be upon us. 


TSTmpj:  What nurtured the poem's sense of foreboding for these mountains?

Kaitlyn Plyley:  I grew up in the suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, where everything is flat, flat, flat. You get used to your physical world existing safely within the human sphere; nothing much rises above eye level. I guess mountains - especially ones that spring up so suddenly, like the Glass House Mountains - leave me in awe. Here is something that exists independent of humans, not needing us, not even noticing us.


TSTmpj:  The scene you depict is more than alive.  As a Brisbane poet, what sort of aliveness do you feel, if any, from city concrete and glass?

Kaitlyn Plyley:  I suppose my smart-arse reply would be, it depends how the concrete and glass are used. Brisbane feels very alive, maybe because of the way it lives with the river. Glass walls overlook and frame the water; the bridges make it feel like a city joined. You can't spend time in this city without interacting with the river, and where there's a river there's life.


TSTmpj:  Can you share a few thoughts on your sense of journey as it seems from the poem, and perhaps in a wider, life context?

Kaitlyn Plyley:  I wrote this poem on the Brisbane-Nambour train, as we left the Glasshouse Mountains station. I write quite a lot of poetry when I'm on trains or planes or buses. Not sure why. Could be the constant motion, so that as soon as you see something, it's already gone and relegated to nostalgia. Or maybe it's the feeling of "real life" being suspended. Whatever it is, I do love a journey.

Bio Note

Kaitlyn Plyley is a poet, blogger and raconteur living in Brisbane. You can find her blog at

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