Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Poems from Strathewen Bushfire

Source: Matt Dickinson Collection, Yarra Plenty Regional Library

The Black Saturday bushfires of Satruday 7 February 2009 impacted our local area, in particular the City of Whittlesea and Shire of Nillumbik.  In the aftermath, a local photographer took some photographs which were donated to Yarra Plenty Regional Library last year.  They have since been added to our YPRL Local History Flickr account.  Poems from the Strathewen bushfire were posted to blackened trees during these days.

In the Oct 2014 Google Street View image, a number of poems are still visible pinned to this tree.
Source: Matt Dickinson Collection, Yarra Plenty Regional Library

There’s a summer bush requim
So silent it chills
It’s drifting on ashes
Through Strathewen Hills
There’s no song at “Singing Waters”
Just an ashen lament
And trees that stood straight
Are now blackened and bent
Strathewen history
Is clouding the air
With soft powdery ash
And a wail of despair
There are spaces without traces
Of neighbours and friends
We are missing their faces
Coming around the road bends
We’re sooty and smudged
And waiting for rain
As homeward we trudge
We’re nursing our pain
Our life’s black and white
No colour between
Just some sepia tree tops
To colour the scene
We’re drawn back to the place
We want to remain
We’re holding our friends
We’re sharing the strain
  • Barbara Joyce
In the Valley of the Ewen
We are happy and free
With Sugarloaf Mountain
You and Me
There’s no place
I’d rather be
Than Strathewen
  • Bill Scott
Harder are the tears
Sadder is the pain
Inner is the heartbreak
Loving is our gain
Tomorrow is for memories
Yesterday is all gone
But somewhere in these ashes
We can together write our song
  • Anon
It’s not so much what we do in life
But more important, what we became
While we are doing it
Strengthened we will become great
My thoughts are with you all
Love Marion Oakley
People are like stained glass windows
They sparkle when the sun comes out
But when the darkness sets in
There true beauty is revealed
Only if there is light from within
Strathewen is constantly in my thoughts
  • Marion Oakley
Towards home I look to see something familiar
Searching every horizon Blackened and burnt
I look again, seeing only the burnt backdrop
Our Mountain, Our Statue
Then some how
I feel protected again
In her blackened arms
  • Rosemary Zinni Yung

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