2004 ASIAN TSUNAMI
images and unleashed rage of Asian Tsunami
Still send shivers through the spine.
The unimagined devastation tugs our heart,
Loss of life numbs the mind, leaves us speechless.
places on the Earth were still in darkness
The world was unaware of the raging onslaught:
swelled ocean triggered giant tidal waves
Hurtled them across seas and straits, coastlines,
With speed and roar of a jet plane, awesome fury,
Waves knocked everything in their path,
Swallowed up entire islands, fishing villages, shorelines.
much survived where the waves struck,
Came ashore, made their violent journey deep inland,
Nor upon the return of monstrous waves back to the
Survivors witnessed in stunned shock, frantic desperation,
In disbelief as they saw the cataclysmic aftermath.
awesome power of Nature was sight to behold.
Was it the wrath of gods unfolding before our eyes?
The earthquake-triggered Tsunami roared across
From its epicenter in Indonesia past Thailand, India,
Westward, to East Africa, an ocean stretch of nearly
houses crumbled, cars, trucks, and large boats
Crushed; trains pushed over; man and material dragged,
Mangled, and scattered across the ravaged landscapes
Scenes of utter devastation hard to imagine possible;
was rumbling and tumbling, breaking and shaking
Loud screams drowned in deafening noise of powerful
Panic-stricken people swept away helplessly into the
Caught in murky whirlpools of death and destruction;
force of the invading waves hard to fathom;
Traveling unchecked, marauding coastal towns, fishing
Resorts, as if someone had opened the floodgates of
Let loose the ocean to submerge the earth,
Cause havoc all across the path of merciless Tsunami.
earthquake-Tsunami was Nature displaying
Raw power; unimagined and unseen for generations;
shattering wake-up call encircled the globe.
Captured in eyewitness and haunting visual images,
Memories, living nightmare that agonize our soul;
Thoughts on future catastrophes before they happen,
Catch us by surprise; devastate our fragile tranquility,
Cause horrendous losses, shattering of lives, heritage,
Natural elements and flourishing human habitat,
Crowd our mind and spirit in repeated aftershocks.
laid bare large swaths of land,
Stripped of life, infrastructure, vegetation and soil.
There, now stood heartbreaks, single lonely structures
As the silent reminders of once bustling communities;
littered with mountain-high debris,
Air filled with sounds of suffering and deep anguish,
Stench of deaths in thousands, agony of despair all
Burials and cremations of dead, often by strangers,
Without a final goodbye by those whom they belonged
and frantic struggle to save lives; find strength
To carry on after what the victims have been through.
was not all dark amidst this midnight of sadness.
Noblest human concern, generosity flowed from near
To reinforce hope and healing, bring comfort,
Rebuild the shattered world and dreams of survivors.
"angels" had descended to lend a hand,
Ease the sorrow and suffering of people, nations
That bore the merciless brunt of the Tsunami.
Millions rushed forward in friendship, solidarity
In prayerful sorrow to share pain in the extended
In communities, cultures they knew not before the
a powerful spirit, deepest understanding
Across traditional divides and indifferences,
Threading all living beings, for one brief moment,
Into a common humanity, shared cultural tapestry,
Reminding each of our responsibility to other; praying
life-sustaining gifts of our shared destiny: hope,
Music, song, life, laughter needs to return at 'daybreak.'
Prakash "KP" Singh
Indianapolis, Indiana USA