Tribute to Australia.

  How diverse & vast is this land called, Australia.

  Dry, burning, flooding, desolate it can be, yet ever full of life, a place important to many a person.

  Look harder, no it is not a baron waste land, there are people’s dreams of something better for them & their kids, being sort everywhere out here in the scrub.

  Some grow cotton, or raise sheep & cattle, for wool & meat, while there are those ever hopeful of that big opal or gold nugget find to make them rich. Others are content just selling the stuff.

  Brave & hardy they must be, some city folk might say “Sorry, not a life for me.”

  Places that are mere names on a map I have seen. Gilgandra, Walgett, Gulargambore, Lightning Ridge, West Alligator, Jabiru, Daly Waters, Mataranka, Anmatjere & Uluru, to name but some.

  Everywhere the drought is biting hard, not a blade of grass or morsel to be found, heads turned to the sky, looking for the gathering clouds to bring much needed rain, that hasn’t been in a while.

  The dams & rivers are running dry, nothing much left out here but dust, not to mention the ever-increasing demands of that demon fire, stretching the services nearer the limit.

  Too many lives & properties have been lost.

  Livestock are dying, ancient trees as well, so are birds, kangaroos, koalas & other animals, that are dear.

  Tears are dropping in the dust but to no avail.

  No, they do not give up, for tomorrow is another day of trying. Yet the mighty Australian spirit, none of these hardships can bust.

  The cry goes up, “Yep it’s tough out here, but she’ll be right mate, there’s no water but have a cold beer.” It must be time for someone’s shout.

  The air has once again been clear, with dams & rivers filled to the top. Wildlife, & plants abound, crops are plentiful but now being eaten by mice, & too much rain, some complain, it’s ok it is the 100 year flood.

 We must wear a mask & be in lockdown at the moment, something not seen in these parts, some time, for fear of spreading this flamin bug. Bar coding & testing, now a way of life. Grandchildren have grown & probably are not known.

The land has been burnt once again, in a cycle that never seems to end.

We have the freedom not to live in fear, as our lives are very dear.

  Be proud, stand up for what you believe, let us take count. Stand by your mates, lift them up when they are down, & reach out if you too are there.

  Yes, names like Lee, Chan, Nguyen, Kim, Pattel, Hassain & Abdullah, some hard to say, are more plentiful that is for sure, added to the ones that came before, but let’s all unite in this time of trouble, for we are Australian & should be as one.

By Michael Szabath.

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