The wind tears through us like a cross-cut saw, our sacred land once red and green now barren and brown. Up in the pale blue sky the sun burns and the single cloud that floats across the sky tempts us with rain we know we aren’t going to get. The air might be sharp and clean but the heat and the aridity can not be escaped.
Wavering tips of grain gently move through the breeze, it’s food for a hungry world, if only we can get it harvested. But harvesters cost money, trucks cost money, crews cost money, everything costs money. When we can barely feed ourselves and it’s hard to dress your kids with a promised cheque from the grain stores.
It’s stood for years, the old tin shed, I remember when we built it forty years ago. It’s stood the test of time, stood the test of weather, survived the great fires and survived the terrible storms. However while the tractor may be dry it’s hard to escape the thoughts that the now leaning walls are only one storm away from crashing to the ground.
I don’t blame you son, for moving into town, the farm life here’s no place for you, it’s no place for anyone. The harsh and lonely life, the heat, the droughts, the storms, the wind, all for the promised cheque that dwindles year by year.
I look across the horizon, our nearest neighbour is a hour away and he’s struggling just the same. If it’s not the banks that own the land it’s foreigners from abroad. Years of useless leadership from Canberra to the states have allowed foreign ownership to sky rocket beyond demand. They fly in their money men with no interest in the land they only care about dollar signs and buy whatever they can. They import their cheap labour, they import their cheap tools, they import all their machinery, then without care or consideration for the locals they export their crops to home. It’s akin to raping our country of all it’s valued resources and we know they will move on the day they’ve bled us dry.
At night I lie awake in bed worrying about the rising debts I can’t pay, not even if we can harvest this years crops. The overdraft never gets paid, the interest rates never change and those of us that are left have to feed a nation but we’re feeding them from burrowed ground