Thursday, October 22, 2009

Catherine Mair & Patricia Prime: The Ring of Fire

Well what are we moaning about? We knew the forecast was poor. For goodness sake, it's not a tsunami! Think of Samoa—beautiful Samoa where many of its villages and resorts are a tangle of coconut palms, corpses and mud. "Talofa," they used to greet us, golden-skinned young women and men in their colourful sarongs. "Talofa," as we skipped down for breakfast.
hugging her teddy bear
she enchants
strumming guitarists

Friends, Heidi and Sam and their two children are asleep in their fale when they hear a noise like that of a jet plane zoom in from the sea. They look out to see the ocean receding. "Tsunami," Sam yells. "Get out quick, run to higher ground." They leave everything behind: passports, money, credit cards and clothes. Grabbing Misha's doll and Jake's toy car they run for their lives. The small girl clings to her father's back, while Jake is cradled in his mother's arms. When they reach the top of the hill, they are startled to see the devastation below. Where there once were sandy beaches, shelters and palm trees, there are piles of debris.

tidal wave—
a pleasure yacht
parked against a tree

by Catherine Mair and Patricia Prime
Katikati, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
and Auckland, New Zealand

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