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Books & Poetry

Poems: Drought & Fire

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South Australia and California share more in common than wine, sun and surf.

In this week’s Poet’s Corner, Californian Patricia Wellingham-Jones writes of two natural events which South Australians know about only too well.

Drought (Forecast)

We’ve had a taste
of the future.

The water wars gear up.

Land sinks as aquifers shrink.
Farmers drill thousand foot wells.

We count every drop saved,
turn off the tap,
recycle shower water.

People still refill their swimming pools.

We wonder if
our puny efforts
can possibly fill the empty bucket.

Fire (Dilemma)

How do you evacuate
in a threatened wildfire

a daughter whose passion
burns as bright as the forward flames
for lapidary, all those chunks of rock,
drawers of pebbles, geodes
and semi-precious stones?

Despite being watchful,
pointing out that rocks survive fire,
people don’t, my fundamental
need to protect her

makes me want to drag her
by the hair out of there.

Patricia Wellingham-Jones lives in California’s Sacramento Valley. A widely published former psychology researcher and writer/editor, she has a special interest in healing writing, with poems recently published in The Widow’s Handbook from Kent State University Press. Her chapbooks include Don’t Turn Away: poems about breast cancer, and End-Cycle: poems about caregiving.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.


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