Josh Willoughby is a resident of Goongerah, The North Riding, Far East Gippsland.

Fire haiku

[JAN 2021]

These haiku were written in the days weeks and months following the fires that devastated much of eastern Australia.

They are my personal response to the loss and the ensuing grief. A loss and grief that still exist a year later, a loss and grief l am not alone in experiencing.

Indeed these feelings seem to have permeated the psyche of those of us, not only living in the bush, but those of us that value the rivers, the birds, trees…

It’s not the loss of material, it’s the loss of something so much bigger.

It’s the tearing, and fraying of the connection to the land, to place.

It’s the changed ecosystem.

The green of the epicormia, what does it signal?

Recovery? Defined as a return to a normal state. I think not.

Hope? Perhaps.

Change..? Definitely.


Fire haiku


Smoke thick clouded dreams

More awake than the stark day

Once the fire had burnt


Tears can fall daily

Like burnt leaves blown to the ground

With sepia breeze

Trying to be cool

When I know I’m burning up

Consumed by moving fire

When the fire burns through

Exposing all left behind

Weak strong in between


M my Carona

Virus came through the fire wall

Spiral stop go what?

The flow surrounds me

Touch the water caress me

Viscous fluid clear


The river is slow

Meandering along fast

Always moving down


Horse breathes into me

Freedom spirit life magik

Vital powerful