Poem: recollections of Black Saturday

“These words are dedicated to the memory of those who have lost their lives in Victoria’s bush fires, their loved ones and those who fought in vain to save them. Some of who lost their own loved ones while fighting the fires.”


We saw Ash Wednesday through younger eyes,
The blackened earth, the ash filled skies, 
We’ll stop the flames and save some souls,
If we face the heat, we could decrease the tolls.

We fought with trucks, we fought by hand, 
But we couldn’t protect our precious land.
No matter how we tried, the fire spread.
Then we heard the news, there were people dead.

Or hearts were numb with disbelief 
No moments pause, no time for grief.
We continued on, we began to tire.
We couldn’t stop, we had to beat the fire.

As the days went by we got control,
And with disbelief we heard the toll.
As the news came through, the names were known,
We had to face the fact, we had lost our own.

Don’t let this go, we have got to learn.
We have got to stop, seeing our people burn.
We try new things, we test new gear.
We remember friends, with a private tear.

The broken people, the tragic loss.
Those bastard looters, don’t give a toss.
The pyro’s act, on an explosive day.
What’s in their mind? What can we say?

We must learn from this, we must stop these days.
From lessons learned, come wiser ways.
We embraced great change, in what we do.
We should learn right now, both me and you.

How could we have known, that in nature’s store
At a place called Linton, we would loose some more.
And again we changed, as we remembered friends.
We continue on, along life’s road, around it’s bends.

We learnt some more, we changed our ways.
Looking forward now, to better days.
They say, climate change is here as well.
Then Black Saturday came, and it came from hell.

Our State so dry, from years of drought, 
The grass, the twigs, the leaves dried out.
Nothing we knew, or could have learnt.
Could stop our state, from being burnt. 

If we can reach the change, it should be all right.
As their son’s and daughters prepared to fight.
There came a call, and then came others.
Chilling the spine, sinking hearts of mothers.

The warnings came, that’s all it needed.
Just one spark, to some unheeded.
The wind so fierce, undergrowth so tinder,
A State ready to explode, from just one cinder

Never before, we’ve had days like this.
Heed the warnings, don’t just dismiss.
What could save your life and that of others.
But it went unheeded, we lost sisters and brothers.

The call went out across this land.
We need your help, we need a hand.
Then crews arrived from interstate.
And again we lost a friend, a mate.

They came to help, because we were there.
We went to them, so it’s only fair.
They returned the favour, and helped us too.
We lost a friend we never knew.

An Aunt an Uncle, Cousin, Friend.
The list goes on, will it ever end.
The list goes on, and on and on.
A Mate, a Boss, a neighbour gone.

What we saw, should not be seen.
To be laid to rest with evergreen.
To those of you who bear the grief.
We stand beside in disbelief.

To memories now, we must hold fast.
For years to come fond memories last.
And as we age and start to fade,
Our trust in future, generations laid.

Our stories of, that faithful day,
We should never allow to fade away.
For never again should people die,
Their families grieve, their families cry.

We tried our best to help and save.
To some it meant a loss too grave.
We faced our foe, we felt it’s breath.
As time goes on we deal with death.

So sorry to say, we were too late.
Unable to save a house, a mate.
Just as nature takes our breath away.
Her fury killed, on Black Saturday.

We will work together hand in hand.
Rebuild your lives, reclaim the land.
As the people left rebuild this state.
We will work together to make it great.

We grieve with you, friends never met.
A common bond has disaster set.
We try to understand your grief,
Though nothing said, could bring relief.

To those of us who say we care,
For years to come, will be needed there.
The smoke all gone, the grass turned green,
Don’t slip away and not be seen.

Stand by our neighbours, friends and strangers.
Support them through their fears, the dangers.
For the fire threat will come again.
It’s known not where, or how, or when.

From now as future seasons near,
In the memory, of our loved ones dear.
Let those who died not fade away.
Lest we forget, Black Saturday.

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