New Year Washes In

This month I am very busy over at the Month of Poetry blog – so I won’t be posting much on my home spot. Well – that is the plan…

I do however want to post these pics and poem of the devastating floods that are surging across my beautiful Sunshine State. Surrounded by floodwaters in towns all around  – and our own little road that received its sixth dunking and flooding in the Year 2010 – we ourselves are high and dry, something I am incredibly thankful for! (Though we were first flooded OUT of home, and then IN at my parents, over the Christmas/New Year period, a freaky sort of helpless feeling that makes me feel even more for those who are experiencing much worse! My heart goes out to you.)

This poem is a purging of sorts… or a tribute… or just a way of saying, it happened.

’Tis the Season

2009 was marked by the dry
of paddocks and dams under harsh blazing sky;
a parched burnished landscape, the earth’s gaping cry,
much mopping of brows and the weary heart’s sigh.
‘Twas a steamy baked Christmas, (you are what you eat)
and Boxing Day languishing sapped by the heat…
Until rumbling thrumbling heavenly feet
and a thousand plump raindrops all stomping the beat.
Crashing through clouds and then pounding to earth,
spilling inches of water to repay the dearth;
teardrops and raindrops and mingling mirth,
then shades of green sprouting, as soil gave birth.

2010 was the season of rain,
as gauges brimmed over and over again.
Lush leafy paddocks eased landholders’ pain
and mowers were heard as a daily refrain.
The February floods often spoken about
washed away any talk of an ongoing drought.
Road inundations and gleeful kids’ shout;
“No school today ‘cause we cannot get out!”
A season of rain that fell all through the year,
and triggered the longer-term forecaster’s fear.
A whisper… a warning… of weather severe;
but who could imagine what rolled ever near.

I stood on the bank as the water roared down
at a depth I had never seen through my hometown.
Bare riverbed dressed now in long-flowing gown;
frothy and foaming, a frowsy deep-brown.
‘Twas a Christmas that flowed with watery cheer;
a giggle, a gurgle, with those near and dear,
tasting the coolness that fell crystal clear…
Umbrellas up for the end of the year!
The carefree were carelessly dabbling toes,
as rain fell in torrents and floodwaters rose,
twisting and tumbling turbulent flows,
relentlessly rising to superimpose…

History captured, scenes broadcast worldwide,
as Queenslanders battled the torrential tide.
Memories plundered. Dreams cast aside.
Helpless folk waiting for floods to subside.
A yard… and a house… then a street… and a town,
all swimming in floodwaters murky and brown.
A state inundated, goodwill from the Crown…
and everyday heroes in town after town.
2010 was the year of the rain,
that fell in a flood and then swept the terrain,
gathering debris to dump with disdain,
then washing it down with more rain, New Year rain.

© Kathryn Apel 2011


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13 comments

  1. Hey Kat

    SOoooooo glad to hear you are safe and dry, love the rain outfit – now there is a great illustration for your rain book I am sure you will write!

    Take care up there in the floodwaters.

    Loves and hugs
    Tina

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  2. Kat,
    Amazing photos. It brought home to me how bad the floods are.
    Happy to hear you’re okay.
    And fabulous poem. I’ve been looking at Lawson, CJ Dennis and Banjo lately and it reminded me a little of them, but updated.
    Best wishes for a fabulous, drier 2011,
    Alison

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  3. Thanks for your poem, Kat. It will ring true for so many unfortunate people in the regions.
    The amount of water flowing out to sea is absolutely unimaginable – like Sydney Harbour’s total water rushing through the Fitzroy River every day.
    Another stark reminder we are ‘a sun-burnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains’.

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  4. It’s shocking Kat and what’s worse there’s nothing you can do to prevent it in future. My heart goes out to those who have lost their homes. And wonderful poem, you are very talented.
    Catherine

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  5. Thankyou all for your response to my post. It is one of those events I just can’t get my head around. The enormity. The devestation. And yes, as Catherine said – the overwhelming realisation that there’s nothing you can do to prevent it in future. How awful.

    Sheryl, it really does seem as if it’s Dorothea Mackellar’s period all over again. (Such a rich, Australian poem that I have always loved!)

    Continuing to hold those in flood-affected areas in my prayers.

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    • Glad to hear you are safe and well, Kat, but it must be heartbreaking to see the devastation around you.

      Your poem is so vivid and gives such a sense of what people must be going through. It’s a wonderful piece of writing and I’m so pleased to hear that it will be appearing in print soon. Congratulations!

      Stay safe.

      Dee x

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