The Storm [poem by “Dryblower” Murphy, 1926]

[Editor: This poem by “Dryblower” Murphy was published in Dryblower’s Verses (1926).]

The Storm.

I am the storm:
My mother the wastes of the frozen Pole,
My father the still, equatorial heat,
My cradle the seas where the surges roll
And all the points of the compass meet.
I gather my strength where explorers die —
On the icy breasts of Antarctic hills;
I draw my breath from a sullen sky,
My veins the blinding blizzard fills.
I am suckled in cold and ripened in heat,
To the tropical North I plunge and plough;
The monsoon hot at my foaming feet,
The steamy clouds on my burning brow.
And there I gather the fire and the force
And whip the ocean to fury white,
The wild cyclone on its cruel course,
The typhoon dread on its fearful flight.
I pile the pearler and sink the ships
That ferry the Wyndham cattle down,
I howl with a myriad lungs and lips
Through droving camp and mining town.
Then I split and swing from the tropic seas
To raze the moaning mangroves low,
And harry the South where the jarrah trees
Die to the glittering axe’s blow.
I am dry and cold, I am wet and warm,
I am the Storm!
I am the Storm!

I am the Storm!
I sweep from the low Abrolhos Isles,
Where the bones of a squadron rot and bleach,
To the distant Leeuwin’s lighted miles
And the gleaming sands of the Barwon Beach.
I batter the Gippsland orchards down,
I trample the Hawkesbury garden crops.
I frolic through old Fremantle town
And smash the glass in a thousand shops.
The Torrens knows my blinding breath,
I sink the boats at the river buoys,
To a forest of firs I deal out death,
And shake the steeples that proudly poise.
The church, the tavern, the cottage low,
The mansion grand, and the meeting hall,
The fact’ry big and the bungalow
Beneath the flail of my fury fall.
When the garden foliage far is flung,
And the giant gums are earthward hurled,
I fright the old and fill the young
With the nameless dread of an ending world.
I wreck the roof and I wound the walls,
The city I make my sport and play,
Till at last in scattering, show’ry squalls
I sink to rest at the dawn of day.
I am all men’s foe in multiform,
I am the Storm!
I am the Storm!



Source:
Edwin Greenslade Murphy, Dryblower’s Verses, Perth, W.A.: E. G. Murphy, 1926, pages 96-97

Previously published (with some differences) in:
The Sunday Times (Perth, WA), 7 March 1915, p. 4

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