Dirty Union

Dirty Union

Dirty union

Beginning with a confluence of forces,
La Nina’s warm fat seas playing tricks,

mother of all wet seasons in the not so sunshine state,
throw in a cyclone, hammering rain

on sodden ground, refusing any more drinks,
swollen tributaries, groaning banks

straining to control the heaving flow
of brown water and detritus.

Vigorously crushing all resistance,
the gargantuan river has its way,

bursting the banks,

pounding onwards, urgent but clumsy,
wild strength of river water, penetrating

barricaded suburbs, love-tidy homes and gardens,
shipshape business precincts, offices and shops,

revelling in the strange, the new,
devouring all with fetid breath and force,

yanking the hair of things long envied and despised,
floating restaurant, yacht, insidious walkway,

stripping away all fight with muscle and mass,
the power of the taking, rank defilement

of victims, punch-drunk on mud-scarred earth,
bereft and huddled in disbelief.



ps. One of a series of poems about the great flood of 2010/2011 in Queensland, Australia. The first in the series is In all Innocence.

Flood Catastrophe in Queensland

Flood Catastrophe in Queensland

In case you missed the headlines, the flood disaster in Queensland has got steadily worse in the past few days and authorities are now describing the situation as a mega-catastrophe.

I once wrote a post Run for the Hills: The Gabe Files about my recurring dream of tsunami and massive floods. I couldn’t work out why Brisbane was in the dream!  Well here we go.

Seventy-five percent of the State is flood affected and the cities of Ipswich and Brisbane have now gone under. Tens of thousands of houses and business have been flooded, livestock and pets killed, roads and bridges destroyed, and the number of people killed is steadily rising as the search and rescue continues.

There was also an horrific flash flood that began in Toowoomba and then reached a number of small rural towns, wiping them out totally and killing people. A search and rescue mission is currently underway to recover bodies. There are large numbers of people missing.

Here is some footage of the flood in Brisbane. I used to live just a couple of blocks away from where they are pushing the Volkswagon. We have friends and people who were once neighbours who have houses completely submerged by water.

And some more of the Toowoomba flash flood and surrounding areas.

We are now safe here on the shores of Hervey Bay, but there is still weeks left of the wet season. Some towns have been flooded two or more times. Our neighbouring town of Bundaberg experienced more flooding just yesterday.

The whole State has ground to a holt, with ports and roads closed. There is no bread or milk in the shops today but hopefully this will be resolved in the next few days. The fruit and vegetable markets in Brisbane (Rocklea markets) which supply much of Queensland and Norther NSW was completely submerged by floodwaters and supplies will have to come from elsewhere.

The logistics of rescue, recovery and rebuilding are mind boggling but we have extensive resources and will deal with this disaster slowly but surely.

Queenslanders are tough and will help each other out in an emergency.

We can’t just run for the hills!




flood waters rise in fury
new bridge drowning
baptism gone awry


strong brown water swirling free
across the floodway
foolish driver perched in tree


teenagers out for a thrill
blow-up mattresses
no match for raging river



The weather is going crazy!

I live in a small seaside town in Central Queensland, Australia. Large parts of the State are experiencing the worst floods in living memory. My town is doing ok (except for some small areas of flood) but access roads have been cut-off by flood waters and the SES (State Emergency Services) has blocked entry and exit to the town.

It has been raining almost non-stop since Christmas and we are getting more in one day than you normally get in a whole month. Bundaberg, a large town about 45 minutes drive from us, got 165ml yesterday and it is likely that some of the towns people will be evacuated in the next 48 hours as flood waters rise.

My free-range silky chickens look like drowned rats, but are now safe and dry in their coop. I thought I might have to bring them in the house yesterday but the rain rapidly drains away through the sand around here and they are fine.

We’ve had to cancel a trip to a nearby town for a short holiday and relatives can’t visit as planned. But we are safe and have enough food and water to last the distance, and that is all that matters.

There are still a lot of idiots on the roads who drive though floodwaters when advised not to. These people place their own lives at risk and the lives of the SES workers who have to save them. Some people just can’t be told.

It’s not over yet!