Ash Wednesday 30 - Ash Wednesday, 1983: A Recollection (Poetry Submission)
Ash Wednesday, 1983: A Recollection by Tony Fairbridge.Contributors
You may make limited copies of the Ash Wednesday 30 website pages in accordance with the Copyright Act. You may not reproduce, adapt, modify, communicate or otherwise use any part of these pages without written permission from the Department of Premier and CabinetCopyright
Ash Wednesday 30
Ash Wednesday, 1983: A Recollection
I spent Ash Wednesday in a computer room,
unaware of the outside world until I left at five.
There was a furnace wind and smoke in the air.
The car radio told me of Lorne and South Belgrave.
"Christ", I thought, "I'd better get home quick smart."
It took an age, the road was cut by fire.
I made my way by backroads and by-ways,
joined my brigade, but too late for Cockatoo.
The next week passed in a scarlet blur.
Fourteen years on, I still get flashbacks.
Eventually, when the fires were at last beaten,
I had time to look around and count the cost.
My soul felt blackened, and my dreams were filled with red.
Life lacked substance, and seemed somehow unreal.
I got tearfully drunk one night, and could never tell my wife why.
In ways I still do not understand, it changed my life.
I felt that something had been taken from me,
that I had lost something, but I knew not what.
One morning, with the fires still a raw memory,
I drove to work along a grove of burnt, leafless trees.
But on that day, there was a mist of green about them,
tiny buds sprouting upon the charred trunks.
I stopped and walked amongst them, touching them,
and I found what I had thought lost, and I rejoiced.