On the night of Christmas past

Fearful storm of lightning
by rain or thunder
singularly vivid
showing plainly
rugged outline
Wild landscape
from rocky fortress
Hot weather parched
herbage of plain
to perfect dryness
A flash
more tremendous
suddenly set it
a blaze
in the tenement
Shortly relieved
from apprehensions
copious shower
extinguishing the flame

Erasure poem – ‘On Christmas Rock, 1840’ – from JE Calder, 1849, Some account of the country lying between Lake St Clair and Macquarie Harbour, Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science, 3:415-429.

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