The summer that wasn’t 2019 2020

The Eurobodalla Writers extend a huge thank you to firefighters, emergency and essential services, and volunteers for your dedication and courage over an extended period of time to help our communities.

Emotions raw of survival, of loss, of friendship and community, of a future unknown, of counting your blessings – we hope that everyone is getting the support and comfort in ways that will help you, your loved ones, friends, and community.

Many stories are being told of tragedy, fear, that sliver of hope realised, tenderness, and even laughter and joyful moments in the midst of despair. Thoughts of the summer that wasn’t circulate and press upon memory, and this page on the Eurobodalla Writers’ website will include short stories and poems by members expressing the many and varied impact of the bushfires, and then floods. You can share the link so that others can read, but please respect the writers and don’t copy or share their work.

Dark Days

(as part of the bushfire stories and poems series)

Blazing lights, piercing pain

Frightened screams cry out in vain

Heart beats faster

Cold, scared – disaster

Dark days

A shadow above – exultation

Monsters in night

Fears ignite

Circling demons enter the gloom

Sobs heard from that scary room

Dark days

Room fills with light – salvation

Banished by the group

No way to recoup

Heart fills with fear

What a toxic atmosphere

Dark days

Arms that open wide – absolution

Joy to despair

No long a pair

What did I do wrong?

I no longer belong

Dark days

Nothing can help – desolation

Wheeled chair in rain

Limbs racked with pain

Life’s inhumane

Too late to complain

Dark days

Radiance above – liberation

© Lalla Barden 19 Feb 2020

Bushfire New Year

Smokers cough
but no tobacco
scarlet king parrot’s
blackened breast,
reminders of the dark day.

Blood red sun
by glowing orange
anxious gathering
on a beach
scanning the sky
for promised wind change
frantic drive
past flame-licked verges
trees quenched
but scorched
bleeding ash and embers.

Join the crowd
stunned and
seeking security
waiting for
and comfort
in the dark
more ways than one
but needing to share
rumours of tragedy
not all incorrect.

The world mourns
a lost generation
or more
of unique fauna
but soon hints
and splashes
of green
as the flora
fights back.

© Rosemary Patyus 4Mar2020

A Tree

Her gnarled black fingers claw at the skies

And through her misshapen form the wind sighs;

Stripped bare of her finery, twisted and worn

A stark lonely shape against the grey dawn

© Margaret Armstrong Feb2020


Scorched – Clyde Mountain

Scorched, silent sentinels stand.

Stoic, stunned, submitting their sap,

Surrendering their souls

To the searing shooting stars of fire.

Now stripped of life’s desire,

Collateral damage in cataclysmic ire.

Black, burnt, beheaded,

Beaten, blazed, betrayed,

Our once flourishing forests,

Fauna, and faithful firefighters

Now furiously flayed.

Waiting, wishing for the welcome Wet,

Our teardrops seeking, beseeching

The heavens to open, and relent,

With rejuvenating, refreshing rain

To restore the forests, the earth,

Our shattered hopes and lives again.

© Bonnie Atteridge  Jan 2020