Quadrille: No Safe Harbor




Five thirty-six.
March twenty-seven
(on Good Friday)
nineteen sixty-four.

Unloading Spring’s first ships –
children, men, dogs watching.

Plug pulled.
Nine-point-two quake.
Valdez Harbor emptied.

Tsunami flood
to tune of sixty-seven meters.
One hundred thirty-nine perished.

Ring of Fire.

Tectonics, y’all!

Shift happens.


* * *

It’s Quadrille Night at dVerse Poets Pub.  The magic word is “Harbor.”  …I dunno.  It was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the prompt.









38 thoughts on “Quadrille: No Safe Harbor

    • You’re right, Björn! Before plate tectonics we were being taught continental drift. (Although in a way, the continents are drifting. The Pacific is getting smaller by something like a centimeter a year… and the Atlantic is spreading….)


  1. Ah Charley! You have such a way with words. You really engaged me….I was reading and wracking my brain…what happened then? Oh yes — I’ve seen the videos of this horiffic tsunami. And then you shift us to a bit of humor at the end….that tectonic pun – shift happens!


  2. SMiLes.. According to Elon Musk and
    of course others in Cases of
    Earth Quakes
    Only Escape,,
    Tunnels Under
    Deeper without
    Holes For Floods
    in Safe Harbors Below..
    Hehe.. no Thanks i’ll enJjoy
    the Sun and take my Chances Above..
    and no no uploading my Brain in a Singularity
    With no Soul on Mars nope
    ain’t no
    Fun in
    Piece of
    Paper Existence either.. heHe..
    i’ll Do Art iNstead NoW as NautilusT
    SHells Last Longer this way Below Above too..:)


  3. Oh, that shift is a clever touch at the end. I like how you put things into perspective by suggesting a harbor which is no longer safe, acting also as a metaphor for comforting things/places we may take for granted changing into something catastrophic.


  4. You matched shape an d form to content so well, Charley, with the short lines and fragments of sentences. I like how you took me back in time in the first stanza and the sketchy details make me feel like I’m being blown about.’Shift happens’!


  5. gave me chills Charley! Living in the Pacific ring of fire those tectonic plates shifting were a reality. like how you formed beautiful lines with the dates starting your poem off nicely – anticipating what would come next


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