© 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.

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