it was oppressive that day
the heat
vegetation withering in its gaze
possums dropped from trees
roads melted in the haze
sweat hugging their skin
people recede into the cool dark
oblivious to the sleeping slayer
waiting to be awoken
a single spark
a discarded cigarette
the roaring wind
a high speed train
driving heat from the depths of hell before it
no slow burner
a raging temper
calamity erupts
ash eclipse of the sun
no strangers to danger
retreat to safer ground
sucks oxygen from air
feeding the inferno
rips tree trunks from earth
melt paint from doors
flesh from bones
the fronts pass
the fire recedes
a hush falls on the highlands
in the aftermath
the land a stranger to the observer
nature stripped to a skeleton
charred bricks, melted glass
the detritus a precursor to recovery
wild flowers nursed by the light kiss of rain

Image: Warrandyte State Park

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