back-burn lottery

there are still fires

we can taste them
in the morning air

a pungent undercurrent
to the first chortlings
of magpie morning

a filter restraint
over the laughter of kookaburras

even snow
strange white-ice substance
at christmas
and a fall of liquid abundance
from the sky

could not put out the flames
and there is fire burning yet

the papers tell
of an exploitation
of the temporary cool

volunteers will burn
a hundred thousand hectares
to clear the scrub
between containment lines

in a few days
the heat will return
and the main fire
will meet
and extinguish
the back-burn

what a strange game
this is

a fight of fire against fire
with a hope
for favorable wind
fair weather

and a better cast
of the die


© Frank Prem, 2006

Next Poem: lagoon #15

Back to Drought/Lagoon – Introduction

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