The Bush Fireman

The fires lash all around us and their friend the wind pushes them hard causing them to race and swirl, creating a savagery not see by many mortals. I hear a bang like a dull canon firing and see the valley I’m gazing upon ignite with a blue flash, red and gold flames like dancers with flags rushing around always on the move always changing, never still, forever attacking the trees, the grass anything to feed their appetite that cannot be fulfilled. Our beautiful eucalyptus trees so large and graceful, the way they spread their limbs out to caress the space around them, and hug their neighbours next to them.

Today they are the enemy to themselves for they shed their oils with the fires heat and so turn the air into explosive vapours, and yet once the fires has passed they still stand graceful, a little singed but tomorrow they will send their living shoots outwards to create a greenness for our tomorrows. Below them the land is black, grey and charred.

Mighty boulders twice the size of our houses splits with her heat and their cores lie open and bare to the elements that have not seen the sun in millenniums. The sun is red, a dead red, with no life and strength. The sky is grey, the air acidy with flying soot particles and leaves black and charred floating along like boats on a busy river. My throat is sore, parched, my lungs hurt, and my head aches with the continuous coughing that never ceases. Yet we stay, we do not flee, or say, well others can carry on and do my share.

I share my dried sandwich with a bird, lizard and a turtle by the small pool where I have chosen to sneak away to charge my batteries and calm the shaking inside me. Fear pumps the adrenalin, which keeps me fighting back and tiredness in the background.

I lift some water to cool my face after skimming the soot and charcoal away that covers the pools surface. I see a large eel surface to see what all the noise and carnage is about. I throw him the last of my crust and smile as it disappears below the surface without a ripple; he glides below his kingdom and is lost behind a bolder sitting in the sandy bed. The bird takes off and calls to a partner, I listen for the reply, as one does, and all is silent and I think of all the animals that I have see in places like these and know, they are no more. I get up on weary legs, this body sure feels tired now and I drag it back to help my fellows along the fire trail.

By Al

The Bush Fireman

Albert Megraw

Joined March 2008

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