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This Is a Sunburnt Country (God Give Us Summer Rains)

Updated on December 11, 2016
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

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Dry brown grass
Dry brown grass | Source

This Is a Sunburnt Country (God Give Us Summer Rains)

This summer has reached record highs,

The heat wave rages on.

Long days beneath the scorching sun,

Spring seems long since gone.


Just weeks ago the grass was green

Now it's brown and dying.

The water in the tanks is low,

The dams and bores are drying.


The sheep and cattle have no feed,

Starvation barely resisting.

Unless it rains this coming month

The herd will need agisting.


Meanwhile we're trapped within our home,

Too hot to venture out.

Fans and aircon turned on high,

I hate this prolonged drought.

Marsupials come out at dusk
Marsupials come out at dusk | Source


The trees are stressed, the land is parched,

But wildlife struggles on.

Marsupials come out at dusk

To miss the scorching sun.


A Snow White Christmas just a dream,

A fable from afar.

The coolest place you'll find 'round here

Is an air conditioned car.

My Country by Dorothea MacKellar

The lines 'I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains, of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains' are from 'My Country', written by Dorothea Mackellar between 1904 and 1908.


This is a sunburnt country,

A land of sweeping plains.

So says MacKellar's famous poem,

But God give us summer rains.

© 2016 John Hansen

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    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 months ago from USA

      With it being so cold here in the US, summer seems worlds away but I can relate to the misery of drought and heat and being trapped indoors. I hope it lets up soon. And yet some say there is no global warming. Hmm. Your poem flows nicely.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for being the first to read this, Flourish. If there is no global warming there is something crazy happening here! Glad you liked the flow of the poem.

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      Lori Colbo 2 months ago from Pacific Northwest

      Great poem. I forget you're in the middle of summer. We in the US are slated for a cold winter. Go figure. I don't really know what to make of the whole global weather controversy. I like to call it weather. For the span of time the earth has been here, we've had a lot of crazy times when it comes to droughts, ice ages, etc. The earth is still turning and we're still here. Snow predicted tomorrow here in the Pacific Northwest. Neener neener. :)

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for reading Lori. Yes, the weather is crazy, but it has been volatile over the years. Here in Australia however, you notice changes more than most places..everything has been more extreme in recent years...drought, flood, bushfires etc. Enjoy the snow.

    • Buildreps profile image

      Buildreps 2 months ago from Europe

      I hope things will get better soon, John.

      It has probably to do with the PDO cycles. La Nina (cold Gulf stream) has become more active in the Pacific. Many people tend to think when it becomes colder it would become wetter. But because Australia lies partially in the tropics vaporization of the last bits of water are transported by warm air towards the Pacific where this Cold Gulfstream runs. It is so to speak a by product of the second Law of Thermodynamics. The South West of the US and Mexico are facing similar problems.

      Many people would blame it on global warming, which on its turn would be caused by the CO2 exhaust of your neighbour's SUV, but it is highly unlikely that has anything to do with it.

      The ancient Aboriginals know perhaps what to do if we were able to listen to them.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for that Buildreps. It is probably as a result of La Nina, though I haven't heard it mentioned recently by the Bureau of Meteorology here. Australia has had a seven-year weather cycle turnaround until recently when we seem to have a two-year drought followed by flooding rainfall conditions. You are also right that we should be listening to the Aboriginals for wisdom.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Meanwhile, in our neck of the woods, we are having record wet. I'll try to steer some towards you, John!

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 2 months ago from Kuwait

      A very beautiful and well written poem Jodah! Keep up the good work. ☺ I have experienced both scorching summers and chilly winters here in Kuwait. Right now, it is unbearably cold here...

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great stuff John. Really well done poem. I grew up in the desert and live in a coastal desert here. I kind of giggle at the silliness of lack of water here. Duh, we live in a desert.

      But where you live a drought can be catastrophic. I wish you well and pray for rain for you.

      It is scary when drought hits after the grasses have grown high and turned into tinder. So I also pray no fires.

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I'm sorry you're experiencing such hot and dry weather, Jodah. We've just had a fresh snowfall where I live. I don't like driving in the snow, but I'm very glad that I'm experiencing snowy weather instead of a drought.

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      Linda Lum 2 months ago from Washington State, USA

      John - I live in North America and tend to forget that there is another half of the globe that is experiencing the blistering summer we had just a few months ago. Two days ago I had 4 inches of snow.

      I love your poetry--you are very skillful in your selection of words, and paint a very clear picture. I pray you receive some relief soon to your parched landscape and pray that you stay well and safe.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 2 months ago from Nashville Tn.

      I love your "Sunburnt" description Jodah. I'm afraid I'm guilty of ignoring the weather outside of my own little world. Gonna change that now that I've seen another side through your poetry. You are the master of words my friend. Thank you.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 months ago from Southern Illinois

      John, we've had so much rain the water is out of the banks. The Northern states are snowed in. Here's hoping for a down-pour in your part of the world. It's freezing here, in the teens at night. BURR...Loved your poetry!!!

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for the kind comment, Sakina. Kuwait must be a land of great contrast in climate.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks so much Eric. You are right, how can you expect rain when you live in a desert? We have had a little rain this month but not enough to make much difference.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your kind thoughts Linda. I have never driven in snow but imagine it isn't easy.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Carb Diva, glad you enjoy my poetry, and thank you for the well wishes too. Hope the snow falls don't get too extreme.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hello Audrey, yes it is difficult to imagine the different weather occurring on the opposite side of the planet. Thank you for the generous comment about my poetry.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks, Ruby. We did get a little rain two days ago that cooled things down a little. But temps are expected to rise again from today. Glad you enjoy my poetry.

    • clivewilliams profile image

      Clive Williams 2 months ago from Nibiru

      Take a trip to jamaica, relax on white sand beaches, eat jerk chicken and drink rum. In a five star hotel my good friend.

    • stricktlydating profile image

      StricktlyDating 2 months ago from Australia

      Interesting to read since it's a scorching hot day here in Sydney today!

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 2 months ago from United States

      Hang in there my friend. Sounds pretty rough there and with the help of the good lord, and prayer things will improve. Thanks for sharing. whonu

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 months ago from Oklahoma

      I grew up on a farm, so I know the importance of rain.

      Wonderfully written.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      That sounds just about perfect to me, Clive. I love Jamaican jerk too.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      I hope it cools down in Sydney too, stricktlydating. The last couple here have been a little milder.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks whonu, you are right. I'll hand it over to the Lord and pray for rain.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      There isn't much that is more important to a farmer than rain, Larry. Thanks for reading.

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 2 months ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

      John, your poem goes along with my Dust Bowl story very well. Droughts are a wicked things. Very good poem. Good luck with the heat.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 months ago from LOS ANGELES

      Beautiful poem. In the U.S. we had a very hot summer also, and now its winter and cold.

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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes, it does fit well with your dust bowl story, though this drought is nowhere near as severe as that yet. Rain would be nice though.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Dana. We are the opposite here, although our winter was not overly cold.

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      Sakina Nasir 2 months ago

      Kuwait is a country having extremes of temperature. There is no "in between here". We have scorching summers where temperatures go as high as 55 degrees Celcius. Winters are chilly too, sometimes having minus temperatures.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Wow, Sakina..55 degrees Celsius is scorching. We have a Summer maximum of around 44 degreesC, and Winter minimum around -3.

    • SakinaNasir53 profile image

      Sakina Nasir 2 months ago from Kuwait

      Kuwait is a desert land. So the above mentioned climatic variations. But we are used to it. I was born and brought up here. :)

    • mckbirdbks profile image

      mckbirdbks 2 months ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

      Hello John - Your poem captures the essence of a drought covered land well, as does Dorothea MacKellar's. It is tough to find the right balance. In SoCal, we here a lot about not using water.

      Cue the rain dance.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you for reading Mike. Glad I could capture some sense of what drought is like. Dorothea MacKellar's poem is an Australian classic. Yes, I think a rain dance is called for.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 2 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Such extremes in weather can be more than worrisome; especially when you have to live inside your home, unable to venture out for very long. And how the wildlife must be suffering. I've read that more than 80 per cent of Queensland and parts of northern New South Wales are in severe drought. I wish we had a way we could send rain, and lots of it, John. Right now we are gearing up for a bitter-cold, wet winter, with visits from what they refer to as the "polar vortex." This is after one of the most humidly-hot summers I can recall in some time. I liked your poem very much. Sending prayers your way.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Genna, thank you dearly for your kind thoughts and prayers. Yes, those statistics you quote sound right. I wish you well in dealing with the polar vortex also. Cheers.

    • Diana Lee profile image

      Diana L Pierce 2 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

      Nice poem. We had a dry summer here. Many states dealt with wild fires right into the winter months. Now its the cold we are to deal with. I don't do cold well. I could have easily been a bear nestled in a warm den for the winter or a goose flying south. Nature knows best.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Diana. As I was driving home today the air was full of smoke haze. I have seen the fire brigades on the road two or three times a week as well. I prefer the cold but then our cold is quite mild compared to most. Thanks for reading.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 2 months ago from Florida

      In North Florida, it has been mainly warm during the days and cool but not too cold at night. However, today I am freezing. The weatherman said it will not last but a couple of days though. We have had a little rain last week, but not a lot. I suspect with the up and down temps I'll be getting sick soon. I always do. Oh well...

      I love that this is simply poetry. Recently, I had to update some earlier poetry and add a summary to it, and I kept thinking how I would just like to leave it as is. It's amiable that Letterpile picks the important part of the creative process sometimes and recognizes how good the poetry is without all the other stuff added. Very Nice!! :)

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Fingers crossed you don't get sick this time, Missy. Yes, Letterpile seems more inclined to accept simple poetry/ no frills than HubPages originally did. That is good news for poets. Thanks for reading as always. I am so behind in reading and writing at the moment..real life is just too time consuming.

    • jo miller profile image

      jo miller 2 months ago from Tennessee

      A vivid picture. Well done, and interesting to read as I sit here on my Tennessee hillside looking out at the cold, wet rain.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks for your comment, Jo. I'd love to be staring out the window at some cold wet rain right now.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 2 months ago from California

      You do seem so far away--but California is a dry land--so I really get it--

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Thanks Audrey, yes we are far away but I think California would be as close to a similar climate as possible in the US.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 months ago from Central Florida

      Beautiful, but so sad, John. Here it is December 19th and it's 83 degrees out. I don't understand how anyone can deny global warming. Are they deaf, dumb and blind?

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Shauna, this is a beautiful country but also one of the driest. Last year experienced record maximum temps almost every month since they have been recorded. This year those have been broken. We have also had more severe floods and bush fires in recent years than ever before.

      The sceptics argue that these records are not relevant because they are only compared over a limited time period (recorded history) and that if you look at prehistoric history there have always been huge climate changes..Ice Age etc. I am no climate scientist but I just hope the world makes the right decision collectively so that the human race doesn't one day become extinct like the dinosaurs. The trouble is the main determining factor on action or inaction is always "the economy," and that does not fill me with confidence.

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      teaches12345 2 months ago

      We have had a dry spell over the past two months but are receiving for Christmas. I pray you see rain as well to water your land and bring relief.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Dianna, fortunately, we have had 80 mm of rain this week, which has really eased the dry situation. A great Christmas present.

    • Sherry Hewins profile image

      Sherry Hewins 4 weeks ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

      Into each life some rain must fall they say. I hope some quenching rain is falling into yours.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 4 weeks ago from Queensland Australia

      Thank you, Sherry. Yes, this month has been a welcome relief. We have had more than sufficient rainfall to ease the drought here. The most rain in a month since January last year. I just hope there is more to come throughout the year.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 4 weeks ago from SW England

      A poem full of feeling and yearning for drops of rain! You've portrayed the situation so well, John. Strange that Australia has had such a summer and New Zealand one of the worst summers for years, apparently. My sister-in-law in Christchurch is bemoaning that fact.

      Hope you've had some rain by now.

      Ann

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