The Quake Drums

by Barbara Strang

For now you are stretched in the sun
taking it easy … you have said

to your friends, No quakes
for a while … dare we hope?

But in Canterbury province
the quake drums are beating

Waitaha Lake Taylor Inchbonnie
Oxford Rata Peaks McQueens Valley
and the Canterbury Ring Laser.

The thin red spikes on the seismograms;
showing deep in her bowels the earth is xunsettled,

a two year attack of the collywobbles,
peppermint tea will not soothe her.

Inside your chest your own heart keeps beating
while you watch and wait for what happens next

under Kaiapoi, Rolleston, Pegasus, Diamond Harbour,
strike slip, reverse fault, perverse fault, whatever?

The drums have their rhythm,
and soon they’ll be building –
did you feel that titillation?

In Canterbury province
the quake drums are beating

Waitaha Lake Taylor Inchbonnie
Oxford Rata Peaks McQueens Valley

and the Canterbury Ring Laser.

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