January 31, 2020

What should we really fear?

Breea Keenan

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PoetryFear, 2020

A woman on the bus was reading a newspaper article about the bushfires devastating Australia in January 2020. “I could never go to Australia,” she told her friend, who was sitting next to her. “Me neither,” her friend agreed. “I am totally terrified of spiders,” “And snakes!” they both shuddered. This poem was written while the recent bushfires were devastating Australia, to highlight the issue of climate change and global warming. While Australia is renowned for its deadly creatures, I believe we have something much bigger to fear. I reviewed the responses to the bushfires in Australia from around the world, stories about those who lost their lives, people who have lost their homes and wildlife that has been destroyed. I reflected on my own personal experiences of backpacking around Australia ten years ago too. The brevity and punctuation of the poem underpin the urgency, emphasising the immediate threat and requirement for global commitment, action and unity. Most people are scared of deadly creatures – I believe these creatures should be more scared of us than we are of them and perhaps there is something wider than we should all fear and unite to prevent.