poem: Tony’s red October

TONY’S RED OCTOBER   (or ‘Mad Monk as Firebug’)


It’s very early, very scary.  Fires

Are ringing Sydney, mountains all ablaze:

Katoomba, southern ‘scarpment glowing red.

The bushfire season’s scarce begun!  A week

Of film of women sobbing, standing shocked

Amid the ashes of their homes; and grim

Exhausted firemen snatching brief respite.



The scientists all agree that climate change

Has stoked these fires.  Hot days are hotter; more

Severe and frequent heat waves; last twelve months

The hottest ever, this September too,

And summer last was hottest yet.  Southeast

Of Oz is in the gun for years to come.



But our PM knows better, said the head

Of UN climate group was ‘talking through

Her hat’ in linking fires of Oz to man-

Made climate change.  “We’ve always had the fires”

He said, “They’re just a part of living here,

Relax”.  He’s right in one sense: used to worse

Bushfires we’ll need to fast become.  The deeds

Of Abbott’s men will see to that;  they want

To dump the Carbon Tax, have sacked Tim’s group

The Climate Council, want to ditch the rest

Of measures framed to help avert the Heat.

I think our kids and grandkids will look back

In anger, curse these men who killed the chance

To stop the warming, save the biosphere.




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