English poetry

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Moocooboola Dam

For more than a billion years we’ve been
Nearly out of water; sincerely, a need repeatedly
Exposed in calamitous reports of the tragic-comic sort
Glibly cognising a collective ‘we’ as the principle cause
And proposing proscribed population growth,
Avoiding taxing resources, limiting courses
For future development. So whom is out of water,
Whether nearly, almost, a teeny bit? If you believe it
From infected sources, nothing less than all of us!
It can’t include me and others who live comfortably
Within our water limitations, who demur a paternalistic
Cure which neither gives us comfort nor eases what we do.
Either we agree with their points of view, levied by
This dilemma’s causes, its antecedents, its precedents,
Or we deride unliveable tenets its solution invariably eschews.
I side with residents of Traveston Crossing, nothing
A Moocooboola dam proposes can please them, so the sad,
Always greedy, city-based, water-needy can go hang themselves
With their garden hoses. And that pleases me in the sense
You know which ‘we’ I represent. I am not reticent for sure – I love
A natural environment, water-needy or not, and a dam
Won’t complement any aspect of the free flow of Mary
River out to sea; the consequences detract from responsible
Government but think back to the vandals who sacked our land
And murdered its earliest inhabitants. They’re at it again,
This time they’re killing a river and the reasons extant
Are prescient, ecological treason. It must be the season
For such dangerous thought. If you bought your dream home
On a canal at Pelican by Sea and the Council dammed the creek
And drained the waterway you’d self-righteously shriek
Blue murder. Don’t wonder, you’re next, start shrieking…

SE Queensland’s continued population growth is projected to outstrip currently available water resources by 2015. The continuing drought has made matters seem a damn sight worse however, hence the Government’s announcement of plans to dam the Mary River to provide potable water, a project extending over the next 10 years. It is of little comfort to the residents of Traveston Crossing or conservationists within the great sandy basin ecosystem.

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Poem Moocooboola Dam - Ivan Donn Carswell