Jan Brownette
Another Odd Year

14 December 2020

It's been a year since the birth of the beast
and its relentless advance to the north and the east,
all in all it's been an appalling 12 months
first fire, then flood, then the army worm marched
all through our paddocks, eating the grass
next thing Covid-19 arrived on our shore
could we really deal with one thing more?

Then last Sunday week came a terrible fear
as the temperature soared and the wild winds roared
fires on the news, at least they're not near
but neither were they close this time last year
the Macdonald State Forest just up the road
not a thing has been done to ease the fire load
and Mark Williams would not change one decision
so where does that leave us this fire season?

An odd year

4 March 2020

2019 was an odd year
so my family gathered here
to celebrate Christmas
No fires close by but smoke filled the sky
Road closures began, “get out while you can”
Plans had been made so two grandkids stayed
they’d come to no harm with us on the farm
New Year’s Eve dawned, a fire had started
It was headed our way, time the grandkids departed
To my sister and brother-in-law‘s they went,
Out of harm’s way till the danger was spent
But it wasn’t to be, fire’s fickle you see
It had found a new mark…… Conjola Park
For them there was no warning that fateful morning
No one had foreseen what a wind change would meanTheir family home gone,
Burnt to the core
If the kids hadn’t been there
Could they have saved more?
We kept fighting the fires that surrounded our valley
Threatening our homes, no time to dally
Fire breaks were made, we all pitched in
Neighbours pulling together through thick and thin
Then Saturday came and the temperatures soared
When the southerly hit, the fiery beast roared
We tried to stay calm as we fought for each farm
Out of all twenty-two only one didn’t come through
For three weeks we fought but the peat bog still smoldered
I didn’t think any more stress could be shouldered
Four hourly watches, night after night
When would it all end, this damned fire fight?
But we continued the battle, the beast would not win
And thanks to the efforts of neighbours and kin
The fires near me app showed us to be
A tiny island of green in a huge Black Sea
Then the rains came, too late for many
But we at Conjola were happy for any
For those at the lake it was another blow
But for us the wet meant the fires might slow
After days of rain we were able to shout
That the fires and peat bog were finally out
No more checking if anything was still alight
Hopefully sleep would come more easily tonight
The danger is past, but I sometimes feel low
Why do the tears still so readily flow
We still have it all, so what is the reason
Fear it will start again next fire season?