I returned to Australia from -8 and snow to a blistering 47 at tops, sitting beneath a tree in Reservoir, an outer northern suburb of Melbourne, watching the sky hung low, clouds masked by haze from the fires that burnt at Kingslake, St Andrews and too many more that would be remembered today, this day of national mourning.
What few words I could write, from an email to a friend and those scratched out in my journal the day I ventured up to visit Dunmoochin, these words barely encapsulate the trauma and deep concern that swept the country and beyond that day and still…
As the popular Australian mantra rolls out, day after day,
with more remains of Victorian’s to be found,
with hero’s at every hour and mourners with tent-side councillors,
politicians scrambling for words and others seeking to blame,
the whimsy and folly of day to day encounters at cafes and bars,
poetry mumbling down lane ways and mindful arias in air-con cars the ebb and flow,
both fantastical and exhausting,
still fuels life, our lives… no worries.
Sky hung low over Hurstbridge.
Air dry and ashen.
Soft spoken folks at the Post Office Cafe at a pace with these solemn times,
the fragrance of eucalypt on wind…
Dust dry trees,
the sun a howling disc of purple and red,
a veil or shroud of smoke,
its heat made manifest in flames on Earth.