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I live on Flooded Country

A flooded country, by Sally Flannery – inspired by Dorothea Mackellar’s “A sunburnt country’.


We live on flooded country
A land of pouring rains
Of ragged mountain ranges
That slip and block road lanes
We’ve seen the wet horizons
That flow into the sea
Her beauty and her terror
The flooded land holds me.


The cloudy misted mountains
Lined with cars and tents and vans
The cloudy misted mountains
Hold heads within their hands.
Weeds tangled in the fences
Wire twisted into coils
We walk the ground with caution
Or sink into her soils.


Core of my heart, my country
Her dark and looming sky
We watch the river rising
We see the cattle die.
And when the grey clouds gather
We cry and pray again
The boat engines, an army
In the steady, soaking rain.


Core of my heart, my country
A land of flooded gold
For fire and flood and famine
That come in waves threefold.
The homes and muddy paddocks,
We watch for many days
The filmy veil of green mould
That thickens as we gaze.


We live on flooded country,
unsure of where to go,
We’re frozen in our movements
Unlike the rivers flow.
In muddy, mouldy waiting,
We apply for grants and aid
As we sit in silent waiting
Our mental states do fade.


I love a sunburnt country,
Though I do not know her well,
For I live on flooded country,
And I’ve watched the rivers swell.
I’ve sat on cold tin roofing,
In desperate anxious fear,
For I live on flooded country,
Don’t forget, we still are here.

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