Bushfire Christmas …
‘Twas Christmas Eve when months of drought
Had dried up all the creeks.
Bush fires that started in the north
Now reached the southern peaks.
The cattle-tracks wound through the bush
Like long and dusty aisles,
And with a sudden gust of breeze
The fire would spread for miles.
At night along the mountain ridge
The scene was grand and strange –
The hill-fires looked like lighted streets
Of cities on the range.
The fire leapt any flowing streams
And kept its own accord.
It climbed the trees, engulfed the boughs,
As through the scrub, it roared.
Like the sound of distant gunfire
It crackled through dry lakes,
And o’er the spear and buffalo grass
It hissed like angry snakes.
The bees fell stunned within the smoke,
Or perished in their hives,
And fleeing with the livestock,
Roos bounded for their lives.
But, as the sun rose Christmas Day
God smiled down on the Earth.
Drought-ending rain poured from the sky,
From Darwin down to Perth.
It filled the streams and waterways,
And soothed drought-ravaged land,
And snuffed out every raging fire
O’er every mile it spanned.
by John Hansen © 2019
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