First one tree, then another, horizons close
towards us, house-lights dim and drown.
The huge, low moon dissolves. Pray in us,
spirit, animus, holy ghost among
the wet leaves, in the smoke’s mute song.
Eyes sting. All perspective gone.
One building bleeds into another.
Torch beams shrink to dandelions
Headlamps fade to dull gems set in cars.
Distances collapse. Shouts could cross
streets, valleys, oceans. Silence, broken
by a siren on another continent.
And what burns? Sweet and salt,
bracken, berries, hair. What new edifice
hardens within, waits for world to sharpen.
Michael Symmons Roberts (1963
Animus – hostility
Edifice – structure
This poem, written by UK poet Michael Symmons Roberts in 2011, marries nicely with the smoke drenched city of Canberra as the wanton bushfires send their hangover dust into Canberra from the devastation on the NSW south coast.
A clear message that is not going away – long after the smoke dissipates!
Unfortunately the Australian Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) is not showing the leadership needed to address climate change in an adequate way – waiting for some serious sharpening.
Below Black Mountain Tower, Canberra shrouded in smoke (3 January 2019) …