Saturday, January 10, 2004

It's the fire season here. I can smell the smoke that's drifted in from the outskirts and can see a brown haze in the air.

We're hoping it won't be as bad as some years have been but there's some concern. Here's the latest from the Sydney Morning Herald. I was also listening to the state's fire chief, Phil Koperberg, saying on the radio that the current fires are bringing out all kinds of fauna, including funnel webs. These are aggressive and poisonous spiders, for those that don't know, and are best respected and kept clear of. I recall being in Taipei two years ago and reading the english language newspaper whose sole news of Australia consisted of reports of the bad bush fires and how they were badly burning a number of koala bears. All due respect to the iconic bears (which aren't 'bears' at all), but there were other effects.

I remember the year of the very bad fires, it was 1994, when smoke clouded the Harbour Bridge and I could stand on one side of the Parramatta River watching parts of Sydney burn just on the other side.

Waiting for the hard light
after dust wattle dance
when fire rings the city

In our day-worn sweat
our city brown horizon
lungs singed petals

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