A poem about a mighty River called the Hawkesbury that defines the northern boundary of the sprawling metropolis of Sydney, Australia.
photo- Sunset on the Hawkesbury. Image from www.hawkesbury.com
The Plight of the Mighty Hawkesbury River
Copyright Des Pensable 2015
I was born near a mighty river, a panorama of life, strength and awe.
Flowing majestically through time, Nature’s powerhouse and nursery
for yabbies and mussels, eels and fish, shags and pelicans galore.
In the dawn it was a sleepy golden serpent stretched across the land.
At midday, a busy highway for a myriad of small craft weaving white wakes.
In the evenings, a dark and mysterious, sinuous, silver moonlit brand.
My earliest memories were of excitement, laughter, joy and fun,
of diving and swimming, canoeing and fishing, in the cool swirling eddies
of that generous host of small green islands basking lazily in the sun.
Later in my youth I took my first love up to the birthplace of the stream.
We picnicked and skinny dipped, laughed and made love on the bank.
Its essence was fresh and healthy; my memories, a beautiful dream.
I ventured to Sydney to find work; we needed money they said to live.
An eternal rat race, a soul sapping drab endless fight for a gulp of fresh air,
I yearned for the inner peace that only my beautiful river could give.
I journeyed back in time to where my memories happily lived as a child,
to replenish that spirit of life that nature’s magic wand freely recharges.
What I saw shocked me to the core and left my mind uneasy and wild.
Oh my Hawkesbury! What have they done to your majestic metallic sheen?
You lay there ill and bloated with effluent from the city’s bowels and sewers,
tainted with slime and weed; pitiful, ailing and weak; now fetid and green.
We were charged to share; to be stewards and protectors of the land’s health.
Why do we toil for idiot goals, value printed paper, call companies people?
Why do we loot, pollute and scoot from our responsibilities for illusory wealth?
Why do we hide behind locked doors, mindlessly ignoring the growing blight?
It’s time to escape, to grow up, to renew our timeless contract with Nature.
It’s time to transform from zombie barbarians to caring eco warriors with might.
It’s time to balance the books with the land; the Hawkesbury’s not a drain!
It’s time to say no to profit before Nature and only the bottom line counts.
Let’s unite and fight to fix the Hawkesbury so it’s healthy and proud again.
photo courtesy of the NSW Dept Natural Resources
Check out more on the Hawkesbury river story below.