PE (born 23-11-1950 / Cape Town, South Africa)

Earthquake

Lingering stillness
A concentrated silence of concentrating minds
Contemplating
Pondering
Relaxedly reading
Sifting, thinking
Alone in my room with my thoughts.

Feeling?
Drop book.
E.S.P.?
Something's wrong.
A sensation of movement.
The room's coming to life.

It's writhing and twitching,
Convulsively, continuously,
Growling in its death-throes maybe?

There's a rumbling drum roll,
Deep-hollow, near-faraway,
Hearit, Feelit,
Can't say.

Walls pulse, flicker,
Like a wind-blown flame.
Cork floor becomes a jellified magic-carpet ride.

I'm fascinated.
Awe.
Some THING is Pounding my desk.
It's bouncing with a life of its own.

Everything's shuddering, shivering,
Me too.

Brain swamped in sensation
Traffic jam - can't handle it.
I am in the belly of a whale that's going t'vomit
And
I WANNA GET OUT!

Panic stampede self-preservation.
Join the general exodus.
Migrating swallows zinging down the stairs
to safer climes.

Outside stand around,
Might be people at an accident
Only it hasn't happened yet
And everyone's talking wildly,
Excitedly,
Still trembling though it's all over.

The light still shines comfortably.
Thank God for Electricity.

Strange.
For one eternal minute, a city is siezed
And shaken
by one thought
One panic.

Colour race class creed
Fade out of focus.

All are blurred, irrelevant,
As long as they're people, and near.

As if normal thoughts are shaken apart
To give a hazy glimpse of Reality?


Written on the night an earthquake centred 100km away
was experienced in Cape Town at the Driekoppen University
Residence where I was staying.

(October,1969, Cape Town, South Africa)

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