after the fires, i cannot


after the fires, i cannot

get enough of the smoke

from your smoking ceremony into my hair

eyes, lungs coming up my legs snake tendril

hands grasp smoke desire to

cleanse. me, us, them, we, this

coast. it would be the Indigenous way

is what Conjola Bendalong Yatte Yattah

Jerrawangala Wandandian Malua

Broulee Mogo Nelligen: so many

this summer, my past south

and present coast, beg us. Here, down

on one knee, gasping for us to hear

this fire ready country, fire adapted

fire endemic, pyrophytes grown

to it – moth to a flame

is a cliché – eucalypt to a flame

is this country my ancestors landed on

dangling their fancy convict chains, millstones

around their necks, their ploughs and thick

German bread. bringing European hearths

to a land of fire long owned (on landing

we somehow overlooked that concept). now

we avoid, ignore, perilously override, choose

to forget. adjust our paradigm

‘she’ll be right’, not so innocently

snigger at racist rednecks while ignoring

deeper knowledge, that word snigger

s… n word – just what is the root there?

we fill the halls with climate deniers on voting day

only to sweep them out and convert the evac

centre to disaster recovery, fashion

hippy earth mothers into retro beach

style – just what is Boho anyway? all that

macramé does my fuckin’ head in. nothing

is ever that easily pale pastel washed, soft

toned keeping it neat, keeping it nice, no

discomfort, no defacing the

paradigm as we shift the cliff edge

just that little bit further away

until too late. i cannot

get enough of the smoke out

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