Kilometer after kilometer black,
Smoldering farm land,
Rows of hay bales
Their golden beauty now smoking black.
More kilometers, the convoy of fire trucks travels,
The blackness extends
Flanked occasionally by green crops
A strange contrast.
Through the thickening smoke
Small aircraft skim overhead, bank hard,
Dump a load of water.
Finally the fire line,
Brown paddocks, fingers of orange flame
And charred remains,
Through the haze cattle are herded
Between lines of fire racing across the grass.
Hay stacks burn,
Solitary in empty baron paddocks,
Sheds, twisted piles of metal peeling like sculptures,
Falling to the ground,
The harvest taken by the flames,
They will still glow red tonight
When the black of night merges with
The scorched landscape.
Sarah Black. December 2009.