by Jeffrey Murrell


The ground was surging violently;
Inside, the towering hobby-house shook
And leaned back and forth, rumbling fiercely.
I stumbled through the swaying door to look
Out in the streets, tremoring and empty.
The air was thick with dusty haze that took
A rose-red tint, although the sky closed down
With boiling dark clouds above the town.

Was I crazed for running out in the street?
Had I an urgent matter at hand?
I had, but fear displaced my memory.
The environment waged war--scared, I ran
To an upset automobile to seek
Shelter beside it because I couldn't stand!
The winds were tremendous and stirred the dust;
Only the structures withstood the gusts!

I glimpsed the monsters as they approached;
Slinking, twisting, so wickedly untamed,
Sweeping together came three tornadoes,
Great windy reptiles, unleashed to bring pain.
They were slim and graceful, moving quite slow'
As they punished what they passed without shame.
The surroundings quaked, but no buildings fell.
They came down from heaven, and out from hell.

I trembled with fright, cowered in awe
As they passed above and left me as stone.
The dust fell silent--again there was calm.
They came and they left like cruel dragon ghosts.
The sun shone, but was it twilight or dawn?
The town appeared raped in light of day's glow!
I lifted my head and wept with relief,
Ran to my house, collapsed in defeat.