Blue Robinson, the Australian correspondent for British sailing magazine Seahorse, has literally been at the heart of his country’s fires. With access to satellite imagery, he tracks the tenuous status of his house while safely onboard his moored boat.
“The strain has been knowing the house could go at any time since Boxing Day,” notes Robinson. “The scale of this has the whole country hurting. The fires are nationwide and everyone knows someone who is close to this.”
In an effort to promote hope and healing, he shares the following…
When the earth is scorched at your feet – and you run with your children,
Praying the car will start, leaving your home and breaking your heart,
When the fire roars with a sound not heard since war,
When you gather with others – huddled on the nearest distant shore.
When the sky is not the sky, but the crimson roof of hell,
With ash drifting thick on all you love, and all you’ve lost – and all you have to tell.
When the animals that you’ve bred, that you raised, that you fed,
Scream in terror at the flames, breeding darkness in your head.
And the horror in the bush, with the massive, savage loss,
Of the smaller friends we knew, living quietly, living true.
Then you witness local heroes, driving trucks through burning hell,
Holding hoses to the nightmare seeing tales too dark to tell,
Finding those who never made it, natures furnace cutting short,
Lonely fights to flee the firestorm, halting desperate battles fought.
And now, you stare at life within familiar walls,
Of heights marked in pen on the kitchen door frame,
And dates alongside those ascending names,
And medallions on shelves, from children’s past won games,
And wonder – what to take, and what remains.
And where to go and where to stay,
And what to ask – and what to say,
To those who plead with their eyes, and cry into their hands,
And when you get there, and look at the faces of those who fled,
With smoke stained clothes and eyes rimmed red,
You know you are not alone.
And when you are not alone, there is a tomorrow,
With mateship, loyalty, courage, hope,
Hope for yourself, hope for each other – hope for the future,
Together, we will get through this,
Together we will be stronger,
Together we will overcome.
Published on January 16th, 2020