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Poem of the Month

September 2020

September - the start of Spring in Australia - extolled in many poems of all shapes and sizes. Yet here in Queensland it is a fickle season, made even more uncertain in these changing times. Here is my contribution ... a combination of observation and memory. This poem won 2nd prize in the 2016 Dunedoo Written Bush Poetry Competition.

September Skies

© Shelley Hansen 2015

September skies of childhood were awash with pastel hue -
as yet untouched by Summer's brazen brush.
The westerlies of August blew
no more, the chilly nights were few
between gold sunset's fire and pink dawn's blush.

September skies of yesterday contained no threat of storm -
white wispy clouds skipped merrily above.
The lengthened days were dry and warm,
the songbirds gathered to perform
a chorus to the joys of nesting love.

September skies were once alight with cane fires' orange glow
that slid a smoky screen across the moon.
The dawn lit up the sky to show
a black mist wafting to and fro
as ash rained down a carpet, morn till noon.

September skies were pregnant with the promise of the Spring,
awakening the earth to sprout and bud.
A time when every living thing
rose joyfully - to laugh, to sing,
to feel a new tomorrow in the blood.

September skies - how they have changed! Their calm has given way
to Summer's hot impatience to advance
while Winter's stubborn grip holds sway.
So conflict rages, day to day,
as cold and heat perform their warlike dance.

September skies bring sudden squalls - the wind whips up a roar -
the storm clouds gather - ominous and black.
A thunder clap precedes the pour
of rain - a taste of what's in store
when Summer's army launches its attack!

September skies send messages that trick our birds and trees,
supplanting their instinctive wisdom's voice.
Plants bloom too soon, then face a freeze
and birds nest late, delayed as breeze
of Winter lingers, influencing choice.

September skies are dark without the cane fields' fiery flash
but something worse has come to take their place.
The bitter rain holds more than ash
as industry spews forth its trash
and sets our steps down paths we can't retrace.

September skies hold warnings of effects of toxic waste -
pollution's creeping shadow taints the air.
We've changed the climate in our haste,
creating bitter aftertaste
of damage we have caused, beyond repair.

September skies are like this world - confused in word and deed.
Misguided information blinds our eyes.
The earth is raped for human greed -
how long before we stop, take heed
or pay the price ... beneath September skies?

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