Welcome

Hi, my name is Alys Jackson and I'm a poet and writer

based in Adelaide, South Australia.

My work has been published in magazines,

anthologies and online.

Bushfire Blues

Bushfire Blues

Summer lightning leaves an ember,

Embers flare and fire is born.

Flames like fingers stretch and flicker,

Dancing through the fields of corn,

Licking leaves with ashy kisses,

Painting pink the early morn.

 

Distant flocks of sheep lie huddled,

Emus sprinting here and there.

‘Run!’ cries cockie crouched in ghost gum,

Panicked voices fill the air.

‘Stop!’ the distant fire is shrieking,

Tossing back its flaming hair.

 

All it wants are friends to follow.

‘Wait!’ it cries, from far below.

Creatures fleeing from its fingers,

Running, racing, heads down low.

‘Get away!’ they scream in horror.

Watch them leaping. Off they go.

 

Angry now, the firestorm blazes,

Reaches out and roars aloud,

Biting, snapping, growing larger,

Spreading ash in burning clouds;

Hitting out in pain and fury,

Chasing down those cowardly crowds.

 

‘Call the firies!’ cry the people.

Cries the firestorm, ‘LEAVE ME BE!’

Hounded out of hill and hollow,

Leaping fence post, roof and tree.

Slowly shrinking into shadows,

Cornered by the Southern sea.

 

In the moonlight, there, it’s spotted

By a drover lost and lame,

In his hand an unlit candle,

Reaching down he lifts a flame.

Laughter flickers in the darkness,

Friendship kindled, fire now tamed.

16 thoughts on “Bushfire Blues

  1. Hi Alys
    I really liked your description of the bush fire. I loved your ending “Friendship kindled, fire now tamed”. I have a question, what inspired you to write this poem about bushfires?

    • Thank you Ollie! I think I have always loved the way fires move, the way flames seem to dance and reach out – almost lifelike in their movements. And when we go camping we have often passed by bushfires. It got me thinking. What if I personified a bushfire? – turned it into something alive, and with feelings. And then I just had fun!! Great question, by the way 😊 Alys

  2. Hi Alys
    I really liked the way how you described bushfires. One thing I like about your poems are that they are always out of the box ideas. It is really sad to think about the damage bushfires do. I have one question for you, What is your favourite poem that you have written
    Yenuli

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Yenuli. I have always loved watching the flames in camp fires, especially when my parents cooked baked potatoes in them. But fires can also be quite scary, too. I think my favourite poem is Phineas McGonagall – because it was one of my first poems and because I loved playing with Australian slang to create an odd character. Alys 😃

    • Hi again, Ishrit. Yes, I have seen a bushfire. We were in a camping van on holiday with our two children. It wasn’t dangerous but we had to drive through smoke and past the fire, which was in a valley. Alys

  3. The way that you described the bushfire is absolutely beautiful and really creates a clear image of the bushfire in your mind. Also, I really liked the way you told this poem kind of in the perspective of the bushfire. It really was a creative way of describing a fire. The ending was quite beautiful as well has when the fire finally settled down. It was like a whole story done in few words. Overall, this poem was amazing.

    • Thank you for some great comments Chomilka. It was fun to try and write a poem from the point of view of a bushfire. Humans have such a close relationship with fire, don’t they? On the one hand it’s beautiful and lovely to watch but on the other it’s dangerous. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Alys 😃

  4. Hi Alys
    I love this poem especially because you described bushfires a lot. I think
    bushfires are dangerous for people but sometimes good for the earth
    because it means new plants can grow.
    I have 2 questions. have you ever seen a bushfire from your house?
    how long did it take for you to write this poem?
    bye!

    • That’s very true, Tiaana. Many plants need fire to germinate, and The First Australians used fire to manage the land so fires don’t always have to be dangerous. Thankfully, I have never seen a bushfire from my house! I think it took a couple of weeks to finish this poem although I can’t be sure. Alys 🙂

  5. HI Alys
    I liked this poem and I liked the way you describe bushfires. I think bushfires are very very very scary.
    I have seen the trees after the bushfire on the way to gumereca (The biggest rocking horse). That drive was very sad, all the trees were so black because they burnt a year ago when there was a Bushfire.
    Have you ever seen bushfire?

    • Hi again Japleen – sorry it took so long to reply to your original bushfire comments 🙂 Yes, it must have been sad to see all those burnt trees. We’re lucky that the plants and animals in Australia recover so quickly!! Alys

  6. HI Alys,
    I liked this poem and how you described Bush fires scary ( I think they are very very scary) I have seen the trees after bushfire on the way to gumeracha (The biggest rocking horse)
    One last question, Where did you get this idea from? Have you ever seen bushfire in your life?

    • Thank you again, Japleen. Bushfires can indeed be very scary but these days we usually have plenty of notice so we can leave early. Yes, I’ve seen a few bushfires which is why I decided to write the poem. I know the rocking horse at Gumeracha but I didn’t see the trees after the fire! That must have been amazing. Alys

    • Yes, bushfires can be scary but fire can also be very beautiful and useful, can’t it? Alys 🙂

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