Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I wrote this poem because rising salt is proving to be a silent disaster in the farm lands of Western Australia.
The native WA vegetation evolved to be salt tolerant. Many woodland species have deep roots and a high water demand.
European farming arrived a hundred and fifty years ago, replacing the native vegetation with crops and pasture, plants with shorter roots and a need for less water.
It began the state's worst environmental crisis which has continued to the present.
Salt has been published in E2K and Landscape magazines. 


Since the Holocene
The sea has been trapped
behind dunes. 

It roars
Like a raging lion
ready to be let loose
on the land. 

It sounds louder at night
Menacing. Threatening. 

The sheep listen
From their hillock of sand
the sea once covered. 

Between the sea and the sheep
Are salt lakes.
So much water
so much salt. 

In the wet years
The water level rises
and brings the salt.
The dry years bring starvation
and the sheep die
but the salt remains. 

Now there is less grazing land. 

It is a race between us
And the salt. 

We plant trees. 

It is war between us
And the salt. 

We plant. 

The foe is merciless.

Still we plant.

                             *            *            *

Download The Rainbow Children from
Stories suitable for children 3 - 11.
A lonely child, Jenny meets up with the rainbow children and has an adventure.

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