BIG THANKS: Courtney Fleming's poem pays tribute to the selfless efforts of fireys.
BIG THANKS: Courtney Fleming's poem pays tribute to the selfless efforts of fireys. Courtney Fleming

Poet inspired by those who braved fire's front line

GROWING up on a farm, Courtney Fleming remembers all too clearly what it is like to find yourself powerless against Mother Nature in the middle of a burning hot fire zone.

"It's hot," she said with a laugh.

"Everything is just chaotic and there's no stopping it half the time.

"You're just exhausted. I remember we would go around on little quads with water and it did hardly anything but you just keep going."

So when the Bundaberg woman heard that her partner, Lachlan Boston's granddad, Jim Barker, was trapped in the middle of the Granite Belt's disaster, she couldn't help but show her empathy in the only medium she knew how, poetry.

Creating a poem entitled One Fiery Night, Miss Fleming relived the fear of her own fire experiences and also what her loved ones went through on the night of September 6.

"His mum (Mr Boston), was really worried and everything, because we couldn't hear from him (Mr Barker) because the phone lines were down," she said.

"We didn't really sleep that night at all.

"We didn't hear that much from him but I thought of what it would be like."

Luckily, Mr Barker's property was miraculously saved by firefighters who managed to fight off the fire behind and in front of the house, and to them, Miss Fleming pays special tribute in her poem.

"I like to write about that stuff, they deserve it. They did a good job," she said.

Those who she writes, "braved their lives on the front line", even returned the love, with Sugarloaf Rural Fire Brigade, sharing what they called her "beautifully written" poem on Facebook.

Almost not posting the poem online, Miss Fleming said she was encouraged by Mr Boston, in the hopes the poem could show the rest of Queensland the reality of the Granite Belt's tragedy.

"It shows the firefighters that they're appreciated and shows others that don't live where it happened what it's like," she said.

"City people have probably never experienced anything like that."

Read Miss Fleming's poem below:

One Fiery Night

Sparks flying in wildering spring air

Nearby home owners sit and stare

For what once was a peaceful bit of bushland

Nobody anticipated how bad it could become beforehand

Flames rising rapidly above tree tops

Unfortunate Damage unknown until it stops

Blistering heat encaptures a small town

Black ashes filled trunks that once were brown

Then wind howls like a dingo during a full moon

Surely the fire would die down soon

Air filled with black thick smoke

Breathing became hard, trying not to choke

Flames become closer to our homes

A plea to leave lit up our phones

Valuable belongings littered the caravan floor

Certificates, trophy's, dogs and more

Anticipation, worry, sadness filled peoples face

As they left their own dwelling place

Driving away darkness filled the atmosphere

Crackling of wood is all you can hear

Yellow Fluoro jackets soon lit up the scene

Faces black far from clean

All their effort fightfighters put in

A lot worse without them it would have been

Working tirelessly around the clock

Not even stopping if they loose a sock

Raging on the fire still stands

Little kids are finding it hard to understand

The night goes by without any sleep

Luckily the fire has died down a heap

We finally got the all clear

Slowly driving back to our homes in fear

Luckier than some our homes have been saved

The firefighters we owe our lives as they braved

Braved their lives on the front line

So we could see each other and our house one more time

They did all they could

To save our livelihood

Thankyou to all who stood tall

Our little town will not burn and fall

Yes the fire has had a devastating impact

But our hearts and bodies are still intact

Let's all come together to help rebuild

Broken hearts, together will be refilled



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