Saturday, 16 March 2013

2011 IPSWICH FLOODS - Who left the bungs out?

Some pictures here as well as the poem...

Ipswich floods 2011

We are just a trifle soggy, somewhat battered, somewhat bent -
have embraced the colour brown, now wonder where the water went.
There are tears here by the thousands, but there’s steel beneath the pain
but Australians are tough – we’ll rise again.
Our homes were inundated by a dirty swelling tide
that swept in raging currents, over rooftops far and wide,
sweeping everything before it – the brown aftermath of rain
and we pray that we don’t see its like again.

The waters stole our children, took the women and the men.
Plucked and cast aside like flotsam – some we’ll never find again.
Families are sorely troubled; they have lost all that they owned
‘till the brown waters retreated, and land spurned.
Now the cleanup is beginning – and harsh reality sets in
as the vision starts unfolding – devastation.  Things look grim,
then the volunteers start coming armed with brooms, buckets and hoses
beating mud into submission.  Holy Moses.

The piles of rubbish grow upon the footpaths of the towns.
Carpets, curtains, ruined furniture – all stained in river brown.
Children’s toys, and rugs and mattresses, the internal plaster walls -
and not a single thing thrown out enthrals.
The ringing of the steel is heard as shovels dig in deep
to shift the silt the hoses can’t – stuff we don’t want to keep.
Instead of Sunday lawnmowers, it’s gurneys now you hear
as they force mud to retreat and hose it clear.

And it’s just another Sunday – really just another day
except the rivers now lie sullenly, and brownly wends their way
along their chosen watercourse – returned now to their lair.
Oh how we all wish that they had stayed there.
The sky above is blue and clear, the day humid and hot.
The ground below is silted brown, and mildews on the trot.
An endless line of Utes, trailers and trucks just come and go
and the cities hearts are pumping – though they’re  slow.

Above the sound of choppers as they do another sweep
at low level on the river – another soul pulled from the deep
and dirty turgid waters – she relinquishes her prize;
but somewhere, someone’s last held hope just dies.
We love a sunburnt country – this land of sweeping plains.
We love her though she sends us fires, cyclones, flooding rains.
We are grateful for the spirit and the fact that mates helps mate.
We will rise again – rebuild in every State.  

We’ve seen such devastation as we’ve never seen before
from the top end of Queensland down to Tassie’s emerald shore
The West is fighting fires and the Eastern states fight flood
and it seems as if the Mother’s after blood.
But we’ll rise again – we have before – we’ll fight another day
we are one but we are many, and we all have roles to play,
and if we stand united – put our shoulder to the wheel
it will turn again –get on an even keel.

We’re Australians – we’ll bend but never kneel.

Maureen Clifford ©  16/1/11
Post a Comment