Photographing all that must one day disappear
becomes a way of toughing out Yasi’s induced fear.
Life is clear when loss comes close
stripping priorities back to the bone
for those of the Cassowary Coast.
Striding in sunburst through the trees
light clothes half waking ones in dappled resignation
‘we’ve seen storms before, but not like this.’
The shore of memory laps over insurance claims.
Can you transcribe sand and cane, licuala and pain
a sorrow whisper beyond assessors’ disdain?
‘we don’t care for belongings lost but so many have moved away.’
Tropical inconsistency twists and turns
green and lush
hibiscus and ginger
Ulysses and cattle
rust and mould
knock down- rebuild,
recovery whispers ‘the community might even be stronger.’
Headlines now die away
while rainforest patches return to green and height
Tully town goes for world records to change its story
Stripped away tin sheds and rotting shacks –
Are now scaled back
swept away for new buildings – shiny and new.
Youths run in evening sunset
framed by skeleton leaves
tracing out the strength within
some will stay and some move on
away from country childhood.
The sky will outlast them all?
until the day the Universe storms
and a whole world dies to be born anew.
(c) June Perkins