After the storm

You wouldn’t believe what it was like, unless you were there, unless you felt it.

The sea is possessed, a swirling, rolling terror. When it comes like this, no one can survive.

Don’t argue with it or dare, it’s insane.

Wild water surges through and over our defences; we’d thought them strong and they were… in the calm.

Sea and wind throw grit in our eyes, heads down to survive; we have no clothes for this, no protection against this rage.

We watch the shingle pushed and dragged, pounded and altered; thick white foam oozing across the road, pushing us back.

We see cars consumed, we can’t go on; trees bend and break on the retreat home, a face-smacking leg-lifting south-westerly.

Though the following day is quiet

The trees stand still and silent; the sea, a mill pond touched gently by the autumn sun.

It’s quiet as a cathedral; the shingle, a silent prayer. 

We cut up fallen branches, good for the fire one day; and pick up leaves, forced against walls in obedient piles.

Nature’s mess and still the sense of shock; but no madness here today.

We tidy a little, handle the broken with care, restoration begun.

Storms, they come, they smash and they go.


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