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.