Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Tuesday Poem: The Downside to an Earthquake by Emanuel E Garcia

Hello, all my faithful followers!   Yes, I know was meant to be on sabbatical 'til the end of the month - but its worth breaking a sabbatical when a poem like this flies into your radar...
Also I should note, if you like this, you will almost certainly love The Upside to an Earthquake here on my blog.

The Downside to an Earthquake
The rumble begins

You wonder just how long it will go on
Before the walls start swaying and
A carelessly placed book falls off a shelf

For the life of you
You can’t remember whether you should
Hide under a table or head for the hills

So you’re stuck in your tracks

Shaking with the thought
That survival’s more important
Than, say, writing poems

Until you come back to your senses
When it stops

That is,
If you have any senses left

Emanuel E. Garcia
July 2013

The rumble begins...

And with it a poem that feels real. 
Wellington has started and stopped quite a bit lately, as the middle of the country has been rocked by quakes.  And we have all discovered Geo Net, (somewhat after the Christchurch folk) so that in the moments after a quake we can quantify it, put it at rest, and return to our senses.

About the Author:

Emanuel E Garcia is an author and physician who resides in Eastbourne. His most recent book, "Twenty-Four Caprices for Violin," is a collection of whimsical, fantastic, poignant, macabre and capricious tales, each of which features the violin. Set in wide-ranging locations and milieux, from Vienna to Nashville, Florence to New York, Venice to New Zealand, they capture the bittersweet and ridiculous nature of human follies — romance, repression, vanity, fidelity, ugliness, adultery, mischief, mastery, innocence and betrayal, and is available here at http://mebooks.co.nz/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=485 for only $2.99.
I was treated to a number of these stories at a reading at Rona Gallery, and they really did all the things the blurb says.  Unexpectedly fun, given there wasn't a single spaceship. Not even a wizard— unless you count the multitalented Emanuel E. Garcia himself.

... and just a reminder the poem's sequel, The Upside to an Earthquake is here :) 


A.J. Ponder's books are available through Rona Gallery, Amazon, Paper Plus and good Wellington bookstores.


  1. Yes, we know that feeling. I started writing a poem a while ago which started with the lines: "Never have a natural disaster, if you can help it." Haven't finished it yet though.

    1. Nice line - and just the right amount of humour - I can't wait to see the poem when it finally deigns to reveal itself.

  2. Hi Alicia,
    Nice poem. Interesting writer . Thanks for introducing us to him. I have quite a few earthquake poems tucked away myself. Love the way Emanuel expresses his feelings of uncertainty about what to do. Some things never change but it's comfoting to know a few things such as don't stand under things that might fall over in an earthquake...always carry your survival pack with you (ha)
    stay away from the edge in case it breaks off and in general enjoy yourself :-)

  3. Cheers Helen,
    I'm looking forward to your EQ poem as well,
    Tempted to start one of my own with your line:
    Some things (...) it's comforting to know... ;)