© Brenda Joy

Winner 2012, 'Dusty Swag Award - Themed Section', Murrindindi, Victoria.

Now comes the rain, renews again

too long I’ve lingered parched.

Through age of wear, eroded bare,

the course of time has marched.

Depleted, worn and weather torn,

denuded of allure,

just barren space bereft of grace.  

Alone, I now endure.

But sky has sent replenishment

to seep into my veins,

so channels deep begin to creep

enlivened by the rains.

And soon the hum of birds will come

as rivers start to flow

and dormant creatures upward reach

where grass and flora grow.

In reverent awe I will restore

the semblance of my past

and I’ll rejoice with verdant voice

that rain has come at last.

This chance I’ll steal, once more reveal

the scope of Earth’s delight.

Like days of old, an age of gold –

before the birds take flight.

For fly they will to greener hill

as waters leave my zone.

Without the rain I can’t retain.  

Once more I’ll be alone.

Not always so, for long ago

I wore a forest tall,

saw Brigalow and Gum tree grow;  

my soil once bore them all.

Till I was bared, no timbers spared,

so stock could graze my grass;

but drought defeats and farm retreats  

and so it came to pass.

Then fires blazed and winds erased

my shallow-rooted drape.

The years have seen my forest green

become a desert ‘scape.

So blows the wind, it can’t rescind

the damage that’s incurred.

The sun gyrates, evaporates

and arid bowl is stirred.

The storms of dust engulf and thrust

my mantle far and wide.

I am your land!  Please understand

the message that’s implied.

And not just I that’s suffered by

the tentacles of greed,

for city sprawls and progress calls

to satisfy its need

to overwhelm the coastal realm

with population’s spread.

All this I feel, and make appeal

before more land lies dead.

To all who care, please be aware.

Protect what still remains.

Don’t leave the fate of your estate

to fickleness of rains.

We live as one beneath the sun;

we can’t survive apart.

I am the land!  Please understand –

I’m Earth’s sustaining heart.