Norris BadenSemper


The Dance Of The Columns (Earthquake) - Poem by Norris BadenSemper

We were meeting on sixteenth floor
Emergency Wardens thirty or more
To rehearse duties in evacuating
Personnel from this high-rise building

At question time a Bank Supervisor
Asked if evacuation procedure
Could be explored rather fuller
Should there be an earthquake at tower

All eyes were focused right on me
Waiting reply – this was eerie
As if very conveniently
There was a rumble rapidly

A quick look into the street outside
Showed people running in spaces wide
While we on sixteenth floor up yonder
Were quietly petrified in wonder

For few seconds there was a lull
With little time for us to mull
Said someone feeling great tension
“Oh God another eruption”

Now earthquake was fully raging
A case of shake rattle rolling
With many silently praying
For and end to terrible swaying

Towards the heavens I gave a glance
Watched concrete columns samba dance
Was this to be my Waterloo
Or would I ride into the sunset too

Then just as sudden as it begun
Eruption stopped and all was done
But tower continued moving
For a minute or so before settling

No one pursued the question now
As to why and what and when and how
To deal with earthquake emergency
In any form of urgency

Nor was there any rush to leave
‘Cause in our hearts we did believe
At sixteenth floor after the rock
That there would be an after shock

I know there is one thing for sure
This group of wardens e’ermore
Will always recall what they saw
And question me on earthquakes no more


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, May 5, 2011

Poem Edited: Friday, May 6, 2011


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