Too Late to Leave

koala

Everyone’s new favourite app
showed red flames across the map
bushfire closed in like a trap—
it was too late to leave.

Blackened paws and toasted fur
burnt poles where the gum leaves were
smoke-smudged skies an ashen blur . . .
it was too late to leave.

Blood-red skies on New Year’s Eve.
Politicians disbelieve.
Together people can achieve
a world with air that’s safe to breathe.

To keep our skies both clear and blue
you know what people have to do:
get rid of dirty fossil fuels
protect the trees like precious jewels
conserve our water, tend the land
at last the people understand

it is a choice we all must make
to save and nurture, give not take
to mend the damage, gain reprieve
there’s no plan B—we cannot leave.

Julie Thorndyke

Pool Party

dog

My dog jumped in
with a cheeky grin,
my duck flapped his wing
and began to sing.

My hen scratched the edge
paddling on the ledge,
my frog leapt with vim
and began to swim.

My cow with panache
made a fearful splash!

My horse galloped in
hoping for a win.

My cat gave a yowl
hiding in a towel:

so I found him a boat,
and a coat that will float
and a sea-going hat—
for an Admiral Cat.

Julie Thorndyke