The Napier Quake - Poem by Wayne Falconer
The day was oppressively addictively hot
the land was numbingly totally silent
Hastings crows birds song was nevermore
the day the Napier earthquake struck.
1931 was the fateful dark black year
when Napier was struck with fatal menace
first came the thunder shattering ache
crashing up from the cradle of the earth.
Next came the immense shaking motion
grabbing the earth in violent hold
tolling the nemesis bell in anger
causing the buildings to shudder within.
While the streets beneath open wide
with deep torn bled crevices opening
concrete buildings rumbled and rolled
some giant natures hand shook the earth.
Causing gas lines water mains to burst
smoke and fires erupted upon the scene
before the dazed citizens bloodshot eyes
while they scrambled from falling buildings.
Thunder center crashed upon the streets
Napier city was torn like some war zone
all within four terrible long minutes
and when finally the quake subsided.
New land had risen from the ocean sea
some future new suburb in the making
boulders had spilled out from the hillside
trees were uprooted split in half.
Napier city center was almost destroyed
the dazed and injured filled the ranks
to greet the lucky face of the survivors
who choked for breathe through dust and smoke.
Today shall we not endeavour to remember
our nations worst natural terrible quake
the hour Napier city was struck with fury
leaving only histories menacing headlines.
February 3rd 1931 nearly 300 dead lay
30,000 left homeless in Hastings and Napier
thousands remained injured and left terrified
until finally quake quakes aftershocks ceased.
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