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Written in the height of disaster

My sister was out of contact. Australia was burning. I wrote this at 1.30 in the morning on the 3rd of January, wondering what it must be like for those trapped by fire, up close.

And for firefighters too.

A Poem in Four Parts

Season of no Reason


She reaches for the sky

As there's no solace

In the smoky vision

Of a transient dismembered world

around her

Now dismantled

And unreliable.

A pulsating redness

Of a neglected sun

Suddenly swallowed by the black

An irrelevant

Slice of nature

Like the clean air

Sucked into soot.

She runs

Then stops

The roar deceptive

Of its true position

The only surety is the terror.

The conflagration really is

All around

And coming closer.

Nothing will save her

Other than chance

Another freak of nature

So she turns to prayer

In an atheist’s shroud

And pleads for redemption.



After fighting 13 hours straight

Feeling too old for this shit

He climbs aboard the truck

Like a veritable kamikaze pilot

In a cauldron of hell

He loves his family

And life

His instincts calling him to escape

But there's no one else around

To do what must be attempted.

The radiant heat

Has drenched him in sweat

And a type of purpose

Interspersed with the madness.

As skilled as they are

They have to go beyond

Even what they know

To try and reach others

They plan for a retreat

But all is not up to them.


The trees are the fuel

The wind

The driving force

The hills add speed

The houses in its path

Mere alterations in shape.

Their choice to stay

Irrelevant to a force

Of Nature

Not a Monster

Or other emotive imbued entity

At best

A set of scientific actualities

That nothing living or otherwise

Could withstand.


The impact is swift

And ferocious

Leaving dotted pockets whole

For no reason they could discern

While they instead scour for blame

Amongst the ashes.


The incredible men, volunteers, with so much to lose, who died to help others.

Thank you Andrew and Geoff.

Poetry helps me deal with my emotions. That's why it's often bleak.

Thank you for reading.

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