People lay in the sun Children played along the shore The sun beat down The water sparkled On the horizon appearance of calm Another day Another swim The perfect Christmas holiday. People lay in the sun Children played along the shore A fishing boat heading out Parasols going up Restaurants frying food Another day Another tourist An ordinary working day. The sun dips behind a parasol Which hides a frisson out to sea That heralds a sudden surge A thin blue line of water builds to a terrifying Wave An unrelenting splurge of nature. It sneaks its way into the beach Felling all in its path Swirling its flotsam and jetsam Like a demented spin dryer Smashing boats and deck chairs, Swirling cars and tables Splaying limbs and torsos Filling hotel rooms Pushing on and on. Then like an elastic band it pulls itself back Sucking and engulfing everything into its Energy vortex And with renewed ferocity hurls itself upon the battered beach again And again Sparing nothing in its path. People lie in the sun Bloated bodies missing heads and limbs Children no longer on the shore The sun beats down The angry waters froth their angry coloured spume The blue turned brown and khaki The holiday turned trauma nightmare All livelihoods demolished by a wave. Men, women, children Gone Gone forever. Only the animals Intimately connected to the earth Felt the tremors and Headed for the hills Antenna alert Sensing danger Smelling death Survival in their skin. People lie in the sun Children play along the shore Fisherman set sail their boats People mend their parasols The sun beats down Human vultures peck around the beach Picking up remains Not missing an opportunity To make a buck. For life goes on The dead are buried Some in graves Some enfolded by the sea. Trade starts up School resumes People swim The water flows The beach returns to life The tides relentless move their waves against the shore. Houses repaired Roads rebuilt Landscapes recover Animals return And people remember: Battered bodies and bruised hearts recall The day, the time, the hour The wave swept in People remember.
Sarah Krzeczunowicz, January 2005