bushfire 2


(photo credits: http://www.blacksaturdaybushfires.com.au/)

Only too familiar
With destruction
Both natural and man-made
I watch the fires burn
The bombs, the tsunami
I have seen them all on my soil
No fires though- not yet
It is the spirit
That dies

Embers speeding
Dancing on dried grass
Feeding and growing
moving at will
Taking in everything in its path
Yellow, orange, red and black
balls of fire, walls of fire
Playing games

Tired, drudging from fire to fire
Exhausted firemen, volunteers
Give interviews
Seen too much pain
Too many burnt people
Too much tears
Not enough though
To put out the fire

The bush is burning
Houses burnin’
People burnin’
Australia’s burnin’

Memories of the tsunami surge
What is worse?
To burn or drown?
Where could they have run?
Families holding on
To each other
As forces beyond control
All in their path

Safe in our living room
We shed tears easily
over dinner

Having seen
The destruction
Of the wave
30,000 or more dead
I know how this goes
And how much worse it will get
Before it gets any better
I can feel their desperation
Completely uprooted
Nowhere to run
Living on the goodwill of people
They have never met
Or known

Sashikala Premawardhane

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