whiplash of wet, demented monsters

Typhoons
Rio Alma

The typhoons’ episodes of terror are yearly:
Berserk wind and shattered glass
Streaming from the mouths of a thousand serpents,
Smoke of dark crystal billowing
From beyond the ancient shoulders of the bristling land.
The heavens crawl with crackling electricity
And the verdicts of thunder are without forgiveness or pity.
There were nights
When we were children watching
And listening for the keening
And whiplash of wet, demented monsters:
Turning wildly they tore every roof,
They toppled and smashed every wall and post;
The drains and canals choked,
The distressed bamboo begged for mercy.
We shut our eyes
At the final rumbling rape
Of our prostrate crops, the helpless land.
Tightly we shut our eyes,
Tightly, ever tightly…
Only to wonder in the morning
What power of sun expunged
And expelled these armies of the night.

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