On Looking At Historical Photos Of The Hawke’s Bay 1931 Earthquake [Poem]

Kelly Dunning
Mar 26, 2017 · 1 min read

there is a desolate greyness

like these places have been

abandoned for many years and

have resigned to Mother Nature

reassigning their materials, rubble

like so many stones thrown carelessly

on the beach. the picturesque turned

upside down like a crumpled up

postcard, stairway banisters sloping

into the street like live telephone wires,

the earth swallowing cars and sheep whole

black and white like warzone footage,

like a silent film, everything frozen

in dusty stillness

sometimes there are people,

heads down, moving

working hard, lifting boards

tending to the injured

the woman under the

pile of bricks, the man with the

lamp pole through his thigh

pulling them out from under the signs

bearing proud names of industry

the street open like a fatal wound

children squinting their eyes

at the sun through the smoke

the chandelier from the front foyer

a shattered constellation in the

middle of the street

the dollhouse rooms of the hotel

after the walls have fallen away

the beds perfectly made.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store