Friday, August 7, 2009

Victorian bushfires

Six months ago bushfires raged through the hills outside Melbourne. Driving back down the Hume Highway a week later I was shocked by how far those fires had travelled. I then visited friends several months later whose house was saved by a wind change. Other friends were not so lucky. This poem is for them. It was published in The Age newspaper bushfire special today.

bushfire four months after dp179

headlights flash burnt tree trunks
standing like dead sentinels on a battlefield
the skyline is red the air is silent
no one sings here no bird flies overhead

between the blackened trees plain brown soil
as barren as a napalmed forest
my eyes are red my breath stilled
no animal feeds here where no plant grows

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