Wednesday, 21 August 2013



Maureen Clifford ©  The Scribbly Bark Poet

There are six crows flying up above, high over the ridge
Death is around.  You smell its sickly taint.
Smoke drifts across the paddock where the bushfire has been through
those paddocks painter wants to paint.

High on the ridge the gum tree stands, a skeleton in black.
It’s stark and naked ‘neath a molten sky.
The smell of smoke is acrid, lingers everywhere.
Six crows in unison caw as they fly.
A silver river, ribbon like, wends its way ‘cross the land,
between granite rock banks and river scree.
Above the sky is sullen with no wind of change in sight.
No remedy to ease nature’s fury.

Dead woollies lie untidily together at the fence,
ran through the wire instead of running by.
Panicked and trying to escape and lacking common sense
they didn’t find the open gate nearby.
Black harbingers of death are here, a chance like this not missed
by them,  they strut ‘mongst  carcasses today.
Loud shots ring out, as more injured animals are put down.
The farmer’s working paddocks far away.

The smouldering paddock fence posts clearly mark where fire went.
Dollars and hours for fences to replace.
Reality of more stock losses, after years of drought
is clearly written on the bosses face.
But distant thunder rumbles, lightning's seen behind a hill,
the scent of rain is carried on the breeze.
Life will  go on tomorrow as undoubtedly will he.
The land is all he knows and all he needs.

There are six crows flying up above, high over the ridge.
Opportunistic scavengers of blight
Dark eyes survey the bloated, blackened carcasses below.
Six crows, the undertakers of the night.

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