by Charlotte Wolf

“What region of the earth is not full of our calamities?”

— Virgil

And the earth moved…

Sand, soil and rock
     are no match for water
          it will overcome
the arrogance of humans
     erecting for eternity
          altars of concrete and glass
               the new caves

but caves were safer.

               When the water comes
          the earth will move
     when the earth moves
there is no stopping the water.

     You may stand and scream or run
          pulling children
               and sacks of turnips behind
     call out to the gods for help or stare

     and not move at all
          for who could believe
               buses on top of boats
                    on top of pleated buildings
               like so many toys
          said CNN the mind
at so gentle an image.

Charlotte Wolf left Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 16 years ago for the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Several writing classes and critique sessions later, her short stories and poems have been published in local anthologies, journals, and magazines.

About Tsunami–This poem was inspired by news magazine photos covering the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan. Even with all the pictures in magazines and on CNN, it was hard to bring into perspective the shock and suffering resulting from such an overwhelming event. Until, that is, tornadoes tore through our own Southeast, and the Mississippi began once again pushing at levees that could barely contain it.