TEMPEST This titan of a gale makes pendulums out of shop signs. The road’s bollards are disabled. Lifted over the licked stone by promenade gusts, flotsam is a kiosk – candyfloss, lollypops! Beneath where it used to stand, a bomb, unexploded for seventy years, silences at once those tidal spectators. Electric flexes go wild in the heightened water: sparks are launched into quarrelsome sky. In response to this crescendo of extremes, the town is alight with euphoria, with terror – not knowing one from the other. As the sea lays claim to the plains it once covered, the people become eccentric; chaotic: are seduced by the drama of it all. After the panic, there follows the need to control; to capture – if only in pictures on the screens of their phones. Copyright © JENNY JOHNSON First Published in Poetry Salzburg Review