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Terence George Craddock (Spectral Images and Images Of Light)

A Heritage Of Aussie Drought

Henry Lawson
was indeed a joy to read,
when studying Aussie lit,
he's so well writ

the rain is falling hard here,
season tropical Indonesian rain,
the scanned lines are fine
Lawson's writing succinct plain

Our Andy's gone to battle now
‘Gainst Drought, the red marauder; ’

but Australian Soil,
is still losing the battle,
to erosion drought
hard hoofed animals

like cattle sheep goats
horses donkeys pigs
but water buffalo camels?
and foxes cats rabbits?

over grazing combined
with cyclic natural drought
and feral invasive species
all have specific consequences

feral animals typically
have few natural predators
may carry fatal diseases
have high reproductive rates

a rabbit proof fence was
a kinda neat costly solution

i am no scientist but i'll tell you what i think

feral animals eat vegetation
which exposes fine soils
to wind and water erosion

cats kill birds, so what, you say?

cats destroy necessary birds
whose droppings carry seeds
that grows renews vegetation

with less birds there is less vegetation
without vegetation the soil is exposed
to wind rain and hard hoofed erosion

raising salinity high water table still to beat
maybe satellite grazing is the answer sport?

drought still haunts Australia still,
but Andy's spirit was never beat,
now scientific Australia must beat,
the drought before its got us beat!

Copyright © Terence George Craddock
This poem was written after reading the poem Andy's Gone With Cattle by Henry Lawson, an Australian colonial writer and poet, who is often referred to as Australia's greatest writer. Having taught causes of Australian soil erosion, the temptation to mix the two was irresistible.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010
Edited: Wednesday, April 13, 2011

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