Psalm 46

I was dreaming when the quake struck –
The daffodils in the shed pots began to nod

Blossom fell from the neighbour’s plum
To settle easy on the risen liquefaction

We climbed from beneath the kitchen table
To walk curious across a crisp frosty lawn

Water rose through the fractured ground
To turn Harbour Road into a still dark lake

The moon shone on Brooklands Lagoon –
From the pines a blackbird began to sing

Kevin Moran 13/9/10

Whakapapa: On September the 4th 2010, Christchurch & the surrounding areas were struck by a massive 7.1 earthquake. Brooklands, the lagoon-side village where I lived, was particularly hard-hit. I well remember the 34 seconds of the quake as it roared & shook & shook our home. I have never experienced anything as powerful. This poem arises from another memory of the earthquake. This was the sense of stillness I experienced immediately afterward. I had no idea how big the quake had been, though I knew it was big. Annette and I just wandered round exploring inside & outside our house & property. Harbour Road had turned into a lake as groundwater had been forced to the surface. At the time I had no idea where the water had come from or what the liquefaction was. I was, however, acutely aware of the tranquillity & beauty of the natural world: the darkness, the frost, the dawn, the blackbird singing.

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