Australian actor Ben Lawson has gone viral after posting a six-minute poem that encapsulates the feeling that so many Aussies are currently experiences as bushfires continue to ravage the nation.
The poem, entitled “To my country, from an expat” was posted to Instagram’s IGTV, where it promptly went viral for hitting the nail on the head when it comes to the bushfire crisis.
The emotional poem begins describing the life of an Aussie expat, like Lawson, who travels far and wide but always keeps a strong sense of patriotism. But after reminiscing the nods he’s shared with travellers, or how it feels when Crowded House plays in a foreign pub, the poem took a deep dive into the reality of Australia today.
“[This is about] what I saw when I opened up the morning news. My heart stopped for a second and my throat became too tight, her name was in the headlines, she didn’t look alright.”
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Thank you to all those who have stepped up to help us so far! If you can spare a few bucks please go to @cfavic @sa_countryfireservice @qldfire @nswrfs @tasmaniafireservice @wireswildliferescue @rspcaaustralia @wwf_australia @portmacquariekoalahospital @wildlifevictoria @buyfromthebush Thank you x ????
“She looked unrecognisable, I’d never seen those skies. That’s not the place I grew up in, that’s not what I remember. Bushfires never started up so early as September.”
Lawson describes the horrors that Australians are facing on a daily basis, whether it’s the immediate threat of the flames, or the smoke filling the air of our cities.
“I stare as they evacuate and I watch the children choke, our New Zealander neighbours now are coughing on our smoke.”
“So far we’ve burned about three times the land as the Brazilians, and as for all those animals, we’re up to half a billion.”
The poem goes on to discuss the lack of importance placed on climate change and the planet, with Aussie coal, or “carbonised black gold” seeming to be worth more than the half-billion animals who have perished in this bushfire season.
“So what if it’s not great in an environmental sense, just think of the economy, don’t focus on science,” he said, which frankly sums up the mindset of most climate change deniers.
As the poem progresses, Lawson, who you may remember as Frazer Yeats on Neighbours, becomes increasingly more emotional. He even sheds a tear as the poem comes to an end.
“I know I’m far away from her, right now when she is ailing, but I know I’ve never been so proud, to call myself Australian.”
The 39-year-old actor has starred in shows such as Don’t Trust the B— in Apartment 23, Covert Affairs and Designated Surivor, as well as more recent roles in 13 Reasons Why and The Good Place.
Despite his impressive US-based resume, Lawson remains vocal about the disaster that’s currently wreaking havoc on his home country.
“Thank you to all those who have stepped up to help us so far!” He captioned the Instagram post, before linking a variety of different bushfire related charities in need of donations.