notes on the poem

This was written as a result of the devastating February bushfires in Victoria 2009.

"I wanted to write something , a poem - one that doesn't end ... While the nerve endings are raw.... For the ones we don't know about...

I spent some time helping a couple of mates and volunteered as a medic but wasn't called till Friday .. One of me buddy's lost a fair bit, but kept his valuable life.... "

of interest

Over the years , John Laws Derryn Hinch and 'Australia All Over' have read out Bill's poems and other ABC shows like John Reid's Poets Corner have published many.

Bill Dettmer has written other works related to bushfires in Victoria. See our poetry section in the contents.



Phone message left at 14:50 - 070209

There’s fire on the hill, mum, fire on the grass, dad.
There’s fire near the shed and things are looking kinda bad.
The landline’s got no signal so I’m calling on the mobile.
The roaring from the fire makes it difficult to hear.
The smoke is in me eyes, mum, I’m following me plan, dad.
There’s fire all around and things are looking kinda bad.
Till now I’d no idea how fast I’d run the quarter mile.
The heat is getting worse and I could kill an ice cold beer
It’s really closing in,
You oughta hear the din
There’s fire in the trees, mum, I’m down here on me knees, dad.
There’s fire in the air and things are looking kinda bad.
The pumps have done their duty and the water’s running dry.
It’s blowin’ like a cyclone and me throat is fit to burst.
I love ya with me heart, mum, I’m wishing I was there, dad.
There’s fire near the dam and things are looking kinda bad.
It’s lucky that you didn’t pick today to come on by.
In all the preparations this was not what we rehearsed
We’ve fought it with our hands mum, fought with all our heart, dad.
And now we need to run, the car won’t start.
I know a hug is what you want
But just in case I can’t....


© W. J. Dettmer 16- 02- 2009