General Poetry posted December 24, 2015

This work has reached the exceptional level
a story of destruction and hope

Springtime Dragons

by mfowler

I saw the clouds build upward from the ground.
At first, light brown, then bitter burning black
as land and trees exploded all around
'tween safety of the town and farmland track.
The news was filled with holocaust predictions
as life and properties were swallowed whole.
The messages were filled with contradictions
as tardy Springtime's dragons took full toll.
I sat with teachers late into the day,
concerned for lives of loved ones on the farm.
As bushfires raged I wept and tried to pray
that parents, friends and pets were safe from harm.
Four weeks away from Christmas hell broke loose
and prematurely cooked our golden goose.
The house was saved but farm machinery
was charred. The fields, so yellow, burnt to stubble.
And every sign of life and greenery
now gone, consumed, or hidden under rubble.
My father burnt his hands while saving sheep.
He cries and wanders like a child of war.
My mother frets and says he hardly sleeps,
his mind abraded by the things he saw.
I feel the weight of loss on my young shoulders;
my family's woes are small compared to others.
But, I can't do that much till I am older
and help rebuild the farm like older brothers.
The promise of a Christmas harvest dead,
the farmers look to harder times ahead.
The landscape, like apocalyptic scenes
is pocked with rubbish piled in clustered dumps.
The farmers, council workers with machines
have cleared the mess and left the blackened stumps.
We're home, and while the farm's not green and pretty,
we're fine compared to tragedies nearby.
Our neighbour's kids are staying in the city.
They lost their home and saw their uncle die.
I've found a way to help and give some hope;
I'm singing carols in a choir for aid.
The concert aims to give fire victim's scope
till damage claims are fixed and bills are paid.
Our Silent Nights may bring some needed cash
to give the farmers light among the ash.


The Pinery Bushfire broke out on November, 25 in a rural area north of Adelaide after an extended period of late Spring heat. Approximately 85,000 ha of land in the Balaklava/Roseworthy area in South Australia's mid north were destroyed. Two people died and many others were severely injured.

There were massive crop, stock and property losses. The farmers were either part way through or about to harvest much wheat, barley and sorghum crops, so many lost a year's livelihood along with their farms.

The Country Fire Service was largely responsible for containing the fire and mopping up once it came under control but it has been a mixture of charities, volunteers, community organisations and government agencies that have since taken over the job of helping the residents to begin the cleanup and the job of rebuilding new lives.
Christmas Day marks one months since the tragedy. We have three months more of similar conditions to face and everyone keeps a wary eye on the weather.

Government policy requires that school students are held at school in case of fire or flood until such time it is deemed safe to return home.

Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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