The GOFA has been away, salvaging memories from flood waters and helping others fill sand bags to save theirs. Contained by a moat of Mother Nature’s making while I have remained in surburbia, we’ve talked briefly of the destruction and loss. He’s also recounted the kindness of the neighbouring farmer, who did what he could to help salvage my GOFA’s belongings and has provided him with shelter and food.
My last post set the scene for this. The two really should be read in order to understand the thought process that generated this writing. Some people say farmers live “high on the hog”, but they are totally at the whim of climate and for the last ten years, it’s been pretty damn hard. I remember floods as a frequent thing as a young girl and woman, but they have become a rarity since the drought. This land is certainly ruled by a perverse overseer.
Records keep a pace in time
Noting what has been
Weather patterns, violent storms
Or fires searing dreams;
Three years ago, I wrote a tome
As drought had gripped this land
Now answered prayer, exact as asked
Beware for what you ask!
Three years may not seem that much
In lifetimes three score years and ten
That watch on now and see the wet
The Lord has sent on down;
“Pray for rain,” the call went up
When drought had stripped the land
Of moisture deep and bores run dry
Of gold now that changed to blue.
Choices of our past, we said
Were borne in arid land
Feedless stock, dusty dams
Tables watered down;
“Pray for rain,” each man was told
Until He hears our plea
And answers with a steady flow
That sprinkles ’cross the land.
Dorothea had it right
These vast red soils and gums
Are fed not by a moderate hand
But one more brisk and sharp.
Drought and fires strip old trees bare
To crack seeds homes for new
Then bury deep in crusty grounds
’Til flooding rains they feel.
Now three years on rains crash for days
Prayers answered, God perverse
That likes to toy with meek men’s hearts
In place of pawns or dice.
Drought, the worst of hundred years,
Is broke by flooding tears
Stripping Christmas cherries red
From trees best fruit in years.
Cry, you may, but waste of time
To wallow in despair
You know these climes do naught by halves
In God’s Great Southern Land;
Where once were breaks for fires built
You now must bag with sand
And hope that topsoil stripped upstream
Comes settles in your realm.
This burnt and flooded land of ours
Has beauty all it’s own,
But hidden ‘neath it’s deep red heart
Is brutal, fearsome love
That strips and feeds the rivers broad
Not caring what your rank
Beware Australis’ mighty wrath
When asked to change her path!