Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sunburnt Country

My favourite poem, by Dorothea Mackellar, is My Country. When Australia occupies that magical part of your life called "growing up", poetry such as hers can only end in tears. So too, when the news is full of dead and dying Australians caught in bushfires.
I remember bushfires well; not so much in Queensland where we lived within a few yards of the beach north of Brisbane, but certainly in the valley of the Nepean River at Penrith, New South Wales. Across that river were the Blue Mountains. And the Blue Mountains were regularly ravaged by fire. From Penrith to Katoomba (one of the most beautiful journeys anyone could make) I saw the ashes from time to time. It makes me ache when I think of that beautiful sunburnt country, where I never rose above the rank of Pommie Bastard, in flames.
Fight the flames Aussies.
This Pommie Bastard, for one, has prayed all week for you.

No comments: