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.

8 thoughts on “Bushfire Blues

  1. 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?

    • 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 🙂

  2. 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

  3. 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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