It was oppressive that day, the heat

vegetation withered in its gaze

possums dropped from trees

roads melted in the haze

sweat hugged their skin, they receded 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

fighters, no strangers to danger

retreat to safer ground

fuel feeds the inferno

sucks oxygen from air

rips tree trunks from earth

flames 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 her 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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