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Tsunami Panic Six Years On

Free verse poetry tsunami part two.

Photo by James. G. Brennan.

An earthquake again in Sumatra
Giving up false exclamations
A Tsunami
Was on its way, causing
Panic on the not too busy Island beach
In the Andaman sea
By those with a taste for the dramatic
Bringing fear and enjoyed power to those
Who should know better.

Fear, and rightly so,
The magnitude of 2004
Still fresh in minds
Saw sunbathers and swimmers
Quickly gather children and their belongings
To head for higher ground.

I spoke to those still on the beach.
“There would not be another
Tsunami of 2004’s destruction
For another 300 years.”
Easing some minds.
“Go up to the bar
It’s off the beach, and high enough
Should some small scale wave make it this far,
Sumatras earthquake is nowhere
Near the magnitude of 2004.”

However Cautionary steps
Were taken away from the beach.

My wife called me to the roadside
To please help!
A sight of pure carnage
Laid out before us
Straight out of a movie,
Panic had taken over
The rational mind.

A young panicked tourist woman
Ran straight into the path
Of a Thai woman on a bike
Knocking her off into
The path of a concrete
Telegraph pole,
The tourist bundled quickly into a car
To go to hospital.

The local woman was left shaken
Cut, bruised and unattended to,
We took care of her, my wife seeing to it
She got safely back to the resort
Where she worked.
I felt disgust at the way she was treated.

I refused to leave our home
For the local tearaways
To have their fun,
A free for all just right for their pickings.

I sipped beer in my hammock
Watching for the predicted Tsunami waves.
As the six o’clock ripples rushed in
So did two learned friends.

“We knew you would be here!”
“get yourselves beer from the cooler.”

We mulled over the ridiculous
Outcome as we enjoyed our,
“ We survived the not Tsunami” beers.

My wife the sensible hero
Drew out my sense of admiration,
One who did not lose her head
While all those around her
Ran panicked like headless chickens.

Thank you Dr Mehmet Yildiz and the Illumination team for giving my words a platform here at Illumination… Thank you for reading and your valuable time. J.



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James G Brennan

James G Brennan


Writes eclectic free verse poetry and is free to read. "Everything in life is writable about" Sylvia Plath.