How Much for a Ticket to Mars?

a bushfire poem

Mars for the Rich, they say.
Excuse me ma’am, how much for a ticket to Mars?
I want to leave now, soar past the stars
I’ve got a couple thousand, will that do?
And is there enough room for my coffee machine, thermomix, Dyson v8, maybe my wife too?

The skies are red, burnt like the devil’s fever dreams,
His blood orange margarita thrown against the Southern Cross.
Ashen rock crunches underneath our boots,
Fading into cremated memories of what was,
And what will never be again.

There’s no life to be seen.
No humans or animals or anything in between.
What’s in the air? If you can even call it air at all?
I can’t see through it. I cannot breathe
It smells like smoke. And I forgot my albuterol.

The wind passes through and it doesn’t stop.
Embers pirouette against burnt faces,
Before gently resting atop
Dry eucalypt, paperbark and gum.
Fire breathing life to fire,
The only thing living now.

This is Australia now, a brother to our nearest planet.
A country known for eating the animals on their coat of arms.  
How do you like your kangaroo?  Overdone, crisp or chard?
A once sunburnt country now blackened like a skin cancer on Earth.
Mars for the Rich, they say.  Well it can’t be much worse than this.…/support-your-local-brigade…

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