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.