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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.

Strewn 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 god-forsaken nation.

A Pentecostal and a crisp white shirt
Flown in to the burning land
Extending his Ad man’s hand.

To the tired fire-fighter volunteer –
True bush noble –
A helping hand – Unlent.

To the young pregnant woman –
Home now rubble –
A comforting word – Unspent.

The Pentecostal smirked – Skulked away
The Ad man’s addition to our deepening dismay.

Golden threads began to spin
Blame, lies (and 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.

But who counts the true cost here
Export and surpluses –
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.

By PL Fisher

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