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Australia Phoenix

A spoken poem from someone deeply saddened by the fire that ravaged my beloved Croajingalong and by the decades of political denial to address and halt abrupt climate change which is the defining global predicament we collectively face.

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Within the heart, within the soul,
lays an ember, a wound burning coal.

Around constricted ventricles a solemn byway
straight up the Monaro Highway.
String with bodies black and charred,
our native wildlife dead and marred,
our forests riven and scarred.

Advance Australia Fair.

I love a sunburnt country,
beauty rich and rare,
but this summer’s burning season,
cinders of evidence and reason
fan wild winds, justice, or treason.
That acrid smell smacks of hell division in the air.

Word got around,
movement at the fire station,
agitation erupting across the godforsaken nation,
a Pentecostal and a crisp white shirt
flown into the burning land extending his ad man’s hand
to the tired firefighter, volunteer.
True bush, no bull, a helping hand, unlent

To the young pregnant woman,
home now rebel a comforting word.
Unspent, rebuked.
The Pentecostal smirked, sculked away.
The ad-man’s addition to our deepening dismay.

Golden threads began to spin
blame, lies, sin, if that’s your thing.
Propped up, Murdoch’s handy addition man,
who in the house that makes the law,
once held aloft, a chunk of coal,
divinity of the nation fool’s gold.

Who counts the true cost here?
Exports and surplus,
or loss, extinction and emissions, to fear.

We can take the heart perhaps in the rubble,
in the ash, in the people treated like trash,
did a scalpel forge there,
that given half a chance,
the melanoma ready to lance?

Enough surmising,
no more sermonising
donate, protest, take action to the street.
Australia phoenix, rising.

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