The Winds of Strife


An eerie glow in yonder sky
The village stopped to stare,
They’d seen it all in days gone by
For it was hardly rare.

The news reports on high alert
For typhoons ran this way,
The last one’s damage really hurt
It’s memory to stay.

The people had nowhere to go
Their options very few,
Another storm, a fatal blow
Could they their hopes renew?

Sea surge leaves an ugly mess
With days to clean it all,
And huts all broken leave distress
For people to recall.

With bicycles and ox carts filled
The village seeks high ground,
A warning from the storm bird trilled
By then no one around.

People sought their mountain cave
That overlooked the sea
Some shelter from the tempest gave,
Their usual place to flee.

The village men a shelter made
To blunt the force of gale
And sat to watch, their memories trade,
Enjoying every tale

Of typhoons past, destruction caused,
Their eyes on yonder sky,
And women from their cooking paused
To watch the seagulls fly

To hidden places near their cave
And tarry through it all,
Returning when their leader gave
The flock an all clear call.

Typhoon rain from coal black sky
With wind slashed through the day,
The raging paused, while typhoon eye
Gave momentary stay.

Coconuts like missiles sent
Went two feet underground,
The barricade was quickly rent
By winds with shrieking sound.

Then passing on, its fury spent
The typhoon left a trail
Some trees broken, some were bent,
The sea still in travail.

Weary people packed their things,
they walked the trash strewn road
To see what damage this storm brings
To their mud thatch abode.

And devastation met their gaze
An all familiar sight,
In awe they paused, in silent daze
Considering their plight.

The village leader shouted loud
His people gathered near,
With loud commands he stood there proud
Their task was crystal clear.

All hands required to clean the place
Repair each dwelling fast
They all worked hard their tasks to face
Just as they’d done times past.

They worked together with a will
‘till village life returned,
Elements content and still
No need to be concerned.

Everyone throughout their years
Face tempests big and strong,
Their impacts causing many tears
From actions right or wrong.

But then inside an inner voice
Calls, rebuild life again,
Regain your vision then rejoice
And positive remain.


“© Copyright Ian Grice,
ianscyberspace 2018 All rights reserved”

The above image is copyrighted to

17 thoughts on “The Winds of Strife

    1. My wife who went through a typhoon in the Philippines on one of my travels away from the country feared for her life and confirms the coconuts being hurled deep into the ground like missiles.


  1. I love this visual poem with its rhyme and flow, Ian. The subject at hand is terrifying and one I’ve never lived through and hope not to, either. I also love the positive ending. Great writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cindy, my wife Georgine got caught in a Typhoon in the Philippines when I was temporarily assigned there to teach administration but had made a trip to Singapore to attend a conference when the typhoon struck. She had responsibilities there so had to stay in the Philippines and thought she’d die when the typhoon hit campus! The coconut story is drawn from there when in fact coconuts were at the bottom of two foot deep holes driven there by force of the winds.


  2. I like this epic poem with its powerful rhythm, and rhyme, which strike me as being most appropriate for this topic. You include so many details that I am lead to believe that you have experienced this first hand. A good read; thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We do have cyclones in Australia and they can be very powerful. On one occasion the house we were living in during my childhood was flooded up to roof level so as you can imagine we moved from there very quickly. The flood came up at just under five feet per hour so we couldn’t get half of our furniture out in time. My wife had to go through one in the Philippines while I was visiting Singapore. I was teaching at a university there for a while. She was convinced she’d die it was so bad.


  3. Having worked on an Island during a cyclonic storm a flood of memories came back. The biggest memory is as you have depicted, locals gathering as one to,clear the debris and work,towards once again recreating their homes, their life and their living. A realistic and powerful portrayal of what life can bring to a small Island.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Barb. Tropical storms can be frightening. Georgine was in the Philippines when one hit there and fired coconuts deep into the ground. Streams of water were coming in through fine cracks between the doors horizontally. I was in Singapore at the time and quite worried as communications were out.


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