Shaken to the Core ---Random ACTS of Nature. Beyond Words


We were travelling in the Himalayas. Rounded a bend. Found this sign.

This past week, words have haunted me.

Hear the ache in Quake.

Shaken to the core.

Earth speaking. Volumes.

Reminders--- the news folks tell us, of how fragile life is.

Years ago, I wrote a poem for radio on the West Ray mining disaster, another time a fiction on a real shipwreck


another time I tried to find words for disaster in the midst of a character living in his own disaster zone -..

Death is sad for loved ones but the dead find ways to speak they speak through time they sneak up through stories leap up from pages of books dance in spaces between words in lines of poetry or the notes of a song whisper in the rustling leaves of trees and the rush of waves humming through land lines you hear them mingling in lingering radio waves in full-blast static you can hear them roaring in wind the deceased deliver messages essential to the living they beam luminescent to the most quiet receptive souls in codes dreams visions small talk in the dark you can find their spirits anywhere—libraries schools churches temples a lonely country road the tundra in caverns and caves the prairies your own house sometimes they reach right into your living room where you sit all cozied up on the sofa and so there you are in your flannel pajamas—nibbling on popcorn watching your show and a dead one reaches right out of that television monitor grabs you by the ankles and yanks you down into that darkness and hell-hole or so it seems these days dead ones speak through the breaking news most often heartbreaking news you’ve got a range of tragedies to pick from at any given moment there’s no end to calamity horror random acts of evil intentional crimes of men women and even children freak events of nature and perhaps though some would argue this punishment fromangered or aggrieved gods think of it there are terrorist attacks school shootings car chases bomb blasts hostage takings assassinations plane crashes boats sinking epidemics pandemics exotically named airborne monster viruses flesh-eating and other diseases salmonella poisoning somewhere a famine and yes yet another war then think of those bridges collapsing and sinkholes appearing the highway collisions the lost and the missing human stampedes hurricanes avalanches earth- quakes mudslides brush fires tsunamis floods genocides homicides sui- cides death by lightning not to mention cougar attacks heart attacks maulings by bears bites of venomous snakes all coiled and curled—yes cold death awaits.

- from Pluto's Ghost

Disaster. A hard word to say. Negotiation with nature? Sometimes, even in human nature, it's just not an option. Words fail me at times like this. Underground shifts. Random Acts of Nature. What I look to now are words like Paterson's words in Huffington post. Note perfect. How Do We Respond to a Tragedy Like Japan's?