Saturday, 8 August 2009

the meaning of death

Death in paradise
dam thundering in furor
a warning to frail creatures
heading for open waters
rushing as it releases its load
smashing over rocks
whirlpools a death trap
greedy sucking vortex of death
smashing seven thrill seekers look for adventure
thank God for those who saved the four
three sons stolen by the crashing monster
those who perished loved life
red danger signed fair warning
to the power unapparent above
while below her fingers claim their victims
those who negate the Moon's fury

more grieving families sit upriver
the same Moon seeks more souls
bent over and crippled by grief
perching on rocks where picnics are halted
words fail us in the moment
a father, an uncle trapped in fierce waters
onlookers shake their heads in disbelief
celebrating attempts at rescue
they bow and nod in honour
we can only laud those
with shaking hands and bleeding hearts
diving rising diving rising
hauling the frail shells to the surface
success in the retrieval
exhaustion overcome by adrenalin
they seek solace from loved ones
mud on their feet
tears mingle with river water

where is the rhyme and reason
to this oft-repeated dance with death?
they work so hard to rescue the empty shells
men once full of life
families must find solace in closure
bodies over which to mourn
honour their lives

honour our heroes
dressed in red, yellow and blue
bone weary and chilled
our crews
with the agony of failure
carry up bodies
and white with cold
fatherless children
husbands, brothers, sons gone in an instant
be careful
be safe
somebody out there loves you
For more about this tragedy, read Bala Falls Drowning

1 comment:

Derrick said...

Hi Jenn,

A powerful poem. The folly of innocent or rash adventure; the destruction it leaves behind; and the bravery of the rescuers.