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Poetry By: Philip Roberts
Literary fiction

In 2009 Victoria was devestated by bushfires which killed around 170 people. One of them was legendary Victorian newsreader Brian Naylor.

Submitted:Jan 24, 2011    Reads: 25    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

When the mercury touches forty-seven
And Victoria starts to burn,
With bushfires razing Gippsland
There are harsh lessons to be learnt.

On Ash Wednesday in 1983
Brian Naylor broadcast live,
From where the fires were still burning
In the Victorian countryside.

For twenty years he led the way
As the voice of Victorian TV news,
Professional, polite, and dignified
Giving just the facts, not personal views.

But even the best can't work forever
And a year after turning sixty-five,
Brian broke the sad new to us all
That at last he would retire.

For eleven years he lived at home
A much-loved family man,
In a township near the farms
Victoria's East Gippsland.

But as the mercury passes to forty-seven
Gippsland has begun to burn,
And with a hundred deaths already feared
The worst news has just been learnt.

After growing up with Brian
It's hard to believe he isn't still on,
And as the worst news is read aloud
We learn Brian and his wife are gone.

© Copyright 2011
Philip Roberts


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