forest fires at home

Once during our stay in the Sydney suburb of Killara located on the ‘North Shore’ we were suddenly confronted by a forest fire which had been advancing along the distant hills for days but which now had reached the foot of the hill where our villa was located. We were advised to spray water on our rooftops  as sirens of fire engines screamed on the little lane outside our home. It was the scariest thing I had ever experienced as the smoke kept billowing down the hill with eucalyptus trees bursting into flame right before our eyes. We were finally asked to evacuate and collected our most precious possessions into the car with the kids, ready to depart saying farewell to our beautiful home absolutely traumatized. Then suddenly the wind changed direction as if in answer to our prayers blowing the raging fires at the foot of the hill back to where it had come from and extinguished it before it could reach our home.

The experience made me compose a poem on nature’s fury which I imagined was a kind of unbridled passion of love – why that imagery I cannot explain even to myself. Looking back at the poem somehow it reminded me of Haiku poetry though I had not intended it to be so – so my unintended Haiku look-alike for your enjoyment:


H O W  T H I S  L O V E


How this love

O Zen

As people cuddle

Their togetherness?


This sense of grass and twig,

Roar of cricket



Bright Bougainvillea’s



Hint of fragrance;


Swiftly, as the lion


Into a watermelon deer

Across the Savannah;


And crackle of barks

In eucalyptus fires

As my rising rhythms


Into them.