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Maureen K Clifford
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Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 10:31 am
Location: Ipswich - Paul Pisasale country and home of the Ipswich Poetry Feast


Post by Maureen K Clifford » Mon Apr 03, 2023 10:16 am

The latest collaborative poem as a result of our Writing Workshop for March 2023

RESILIENT ... A collaborative poem
Authors - Catherine Lee, Ron Boughton, Terry Piggott, Maureen Clifford

1...We all live in Australia, we know the joy that brings
but right now with the flooding we wish that we had wings.
Our Northern Territory folks in the communities
are getting just a trifle wet - from rivers they must flee.
The folk at Pigeon Hole have left - the army came to help
thank God they saved the little dog that was about to whelp -
the kids of course thought it great fun but on the adult's faces
we saw the fear, the stress and strain - the lines no time erases.

2 ...Kalkarindji’s drowning and I’m standing here aghast,
just staring at the flooding as belongings eddy past.
Water covers everything, from shop to school and road—
we’re speechless at destruction of each treasured, lost abode.
They’re rescuing from Daguragu, Pigeon Hill and here,
for nothing can assuage such wrath of nature - this is clear.
I’m searching now for helicopter’s presence in the sky
whilst all I see is bleak despair in every anxious eye.

3 ... We see it all the time when good money's thrown after bad
and oft' times is is Government or Councils that we had
that are the biggest wasters for they simply won't be told
their plans are flawed. What would we know? How dare we be so bold.
And folks at Pigeon Hole have said - 'don't build along the river -
we will get flooded every time '- but local council's dither
Again in 2020 they asked to have their homes moved higher -
but No! - New homes still being built, will face a future dire.

4...The Government would have saved cash had they just taken note -
'no costly flood damage repairs to homes' Ray Hector wrote
He is an elder and he said 'each time wet season comes
we are all scared because we know the floods again will run.'
Since 2001 they've tried to get homes relocated,
but all their pleas have been in vain, they're scared and quite frustrated.
Cash to help the community will all go down the drain
when Pigeon Hole will once again flood from wet season rain.

5 There’s flooding everywhere now and its hit the west as well,
the north is under water, it’s as wet as flamen' hell.
The roads have all been scoured out, the bridges swept away,
and croc’s are roaming everywhere, or so the locals say.
With tucker and essentials gone there’s nothing left to cook,
and beer is nowhere to be found so things are blooming crook.
But they’re a tough old mob up here, you know they’ll see it through,
as long as they have lubricant - a bit of scotch will do.

6 ...Two women knew they must get out they made their preparations
and loaded up the Ute and dog and knew their destination.
When they set out the road was clear - but now no time to dither
The main road to Lajamanu had transformed to a river.
Their vehicle was stranded and the water rising higher
and via 'sat' phone police were called to organize a flyer.
There was no quick solution - they must stay there overnight,
with the waters rising higher they were fearful of their plight.

7 ...Next day they heard the chopper coming. Sweet relief - for sure
They climbed aboard with Charlie held tight in their arms, secure.
Their vehicle might be recovered later on with luck
right now it sat in isolated splendour - truly stuck.
Kalkarindji waited - it was once known as Wave Hill -
home to Vincent Lingiari - a Gurindji man, strong willed;
who led his people off the land for a seven year strike -
gathered them at Daguragu - a precious sacred site

8 ...And Vincent he made waves on Wave Hill station way out there,
as Vesteys were the owners, paying wages so unfair!
The strike though proved, (though very hard) of Seven years well spent,
involving government intervention, that helped cement,
negotiation for part of, native land to be returned
that gave them back some dignity, a corner had been turned.
But now the waves were different, being of the flooding kind,
as Victoria River turned, from life-blood to …maligned!

9 …The ugly side of war will also haunt for years to come,
and mother nature’s damage -without the beat of war's drum-
Is harsh enough to traumatize the toughest of mankind
though both can leave it hard for any positives to find!
But hope is the component that sees many find their way
and may be just a glimpse, can help foresee a brighter day.
Because nature’s wrath and …cruel atrocities of war
in history’s pages show, sadly, it’s happened all before!

10..... Those Territorian folks are tough - they overcome most things
Surviving war in Darwin when the enemy had wings
and bombed the crap right out of them .. sixty four times .. that's right
The yellow peril sprouted wings, invaded overnight.
Eight ships out in the harbour sunk - more bombs than at Pearl Harbour
but these tough Aussies don't give up, it just made them fight harder
Over two hundred lives were lost and infrastructure shattered
the USS Peary was sunk and every life lost mattered.

11…..There’s sadness that still lingers in the town of Broome as well,
Where refugees were murdered in a scene that’s straight from hell.
They thought they had reached safety from the islands they had fled,
but death was soon to find them here and local hearts had bled.
They waited in their planes, while sure at last that they were free,
but butchers of Bushido, came there on a killing spree,
of children and their mothers packed in flying boats that day
and tears will ever fall here on the shores of Roebuck Bay

12...From all the stories told here there is one thing that stands out
it takes a tough, brave Aussie to survive, fire, flood and drought
and keep a sense of humour when things keep going wrong -
to stand and fight another day without ringing the gong.
And it seems the folks who inhabit the top end of Australia
have it in spades - Tshirts and thongs and shorts their proud regalia.
Most of them look quite ordinary - just sheilas and blokes
going about their daily lives not particularly 'woke'.

13....But when the chips are down and the going is getting tough
a metamorphis happens and it's then you see the stuff
they are made of - they're resilient, innovative and giving
who have respect for nature and who work hard for a living.
One big old flood wont floor them, any more than one world war
they'll simply get on with the job - they've seen it all before.
At times like this my heart is simply filled with Aussie pride
as we, a blended nation, stand together, side by side.
Check out The Scribbly Bark Poets blog site here -

I may not always succeed in making a difference, but I will go to my grave knowing I at least tried.

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