A Piece Of History

In April 2007 the book covering the devastating fires of January 2006, and also the way the vegetation responded , was launched at Willaura. FOGG were the instigators of the project, then many others came on board to support it. As well as the book, there were art and music workshops and performances in different places around the Grampians, culminating a festival day in Halls Gap.

To me, one of the highlights was the set of songs which emerged from the workshops with Fay White. Too long to put here, but here are  excerpts from two of them. (I will ask Frank to put the complete ones up on our website.)

 

FIRE SONG

The fire came through with roar and noise, awesome power and might.
Somehow we found the strength to stay, that long and anxious night.
At dawn the sound of cracking rocks, the fall of dying trees.
We looked and saw the forest, and the farms brought to their knees.
Twisted iron, charred remains, scorched and blackened ground,
Fenceless paddocks, stricken stock, some dead in swollen mounds.
Proud cliffs with trees like charcoal sticks, naked rocks laid bare,
And wisps of smoke from smouldering stumps, drifting in the air.

Fallen to ashes. fallen to ashes, All that beauty gone, fallen to ashes.

So summer passed and autumn came with days of mist and frost
And welcome rain began to fall, we grieved for what was lost
And the land began to lift its head to meet the falling rain
And we began to find the strength and will to start again

Out of the ashes . . . something coming through, out of the ashes

It’s hard painstaking dirty work, tedious and slow
Sometimes you think its gone for good, perhaps you too should go
But the grass-tree’s sprouting cheerful spikes as if to disagree
And Lo! A new defiant dress on every fire-scorched tree

Out of the ashes . . . something coming through, out of the ashes

 

GARIWERD ANTHEM

These mountains stand shoulder to shoulder
Massive uplift held  in stone
Lift your heart and look and listen.
Here is a wonderland.

Sing – the mornings, crisp and fair,
early bird-songs slice the air
Round the cliffs the echoes ring,
every wild thing wakes and sings
Sunrise turns rocks to rose,
every eastern rock-face glows.

Live, alive, a heartbeat heard – alive in Grampians Gariwerd

Sing – the days of scented peace,
perfume nectar sweet release
Wildflower courting insect wing,
snowy thryptomene has its fling
Cascades laughing tumble down,
flowing water for lowland towns

Live, alive, a heartbeat heard –alive in Grampians Gariwerd

Flick and flutter in the twilight haze,
gentle wallabies come to graze
Feeding, foraging, feathers and fur,
in leaf litter the lizards stir
Flocks of cockatoos rise and fall,
wok-a-wok wattle-birds cackle and call

Insect, animal, reptile, bird – alive in Grampians Gariwerd

Sing the horizon blue on blue,
rugged skyline breathless view
Noble slope, the sweeping range
O how swift the mood can change
Twist and crack in gale force winds,
forest buckles as the storm drives in

Wild and wilful heartbeat stirred – pulse of the Grampians  Gariwerd

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