Lindsay Lewis

English/ ESL consultant: Word worker, writer, teacher, mentor and poet. Author of This Won’t Hurt a Bit! on writing clear content.

Drinking Woolamaloo

I’ve been writing and publishing poetry since I was seventeen. This is a poem I wrote recently about the tragic fires in Australia- and my brother, who narrowly missed being trapped in them.

DRINKING WOOLAMALOO                                    By Lindsay Lewis

My brother brings me a bag of beans

from Woolamaloo, knowing my passion for terroir

and the brew lives up to its name, rolling around my mouth

like velvet roos.  I hold the souvenier mug with bobbing brown shapes and Koalas.

“Did you eat kangaroo? ” I ask.

Instead, he speaks of bleaching

a dash to see the disappearing coral reef, colors leaking

startled flashing fish cerulean blue and unspeakably bold yellow

a world of wonder under water

and the stark drive back to Sydney

four days of barren earth starved parched and broken

a bush fire ignites. He asks the gas station attendant about

the spreading smoke obscuring the horizon

“No worries mate.”

But sheet lightning claims the last surviving bush. The two of them

outrun the wall of fire in a tin can rental in incendiary hell

I think of black and twisted wreckage littering highways

charred matchsticks of bones and coroners cold calls

How lucky I am, clutching my kangaroo cup, drinking what may well be

the last crop of Woolamaloo.