The Love Affair of San Andreas and San Jacinto


Should you hold doubt, hear my request:
investigate. USGS data confirms these facts
that I put forth based on experience.
Earthquakes visit my valley like a lover his mistress
nestled as she is in the arms of two faults.

Substantial temblors came this week alone—
magnificent displays of power, Earth’s climax.
Just before she peaks, a moan fans out
announces slamming forces built up within
her core—the accoustics of rapture.

When opposites conjoin, damaged surfaces
spawn newfound beauty, realign nature,
bless us with unsuspecting serendipity.
Revel in uncertainty, in danger, in new growth.
I challenge you.

Coachella Valley, home to Palm Desert and the better known Palm Springs lies between two significant fault lines: the San Andreas and the San Jacinto. While they don’t really come together, it seems that action on one often invites activity on the other. Coachella Valley, like all of California, is home to frequent earthquakes. We had two this past week—not huge ones, but big enough to catch your attention. Scientists and doomsayers predict we are overdue to have “The Big One.” Over the years we’ve already experienced a few over 7.0 which seem to wait for us to visit to occur.

This week, fellow blogger Justin (Tino), asked me to give him some random words to use in a poem. So I asked him to reciprocate. The words (serendipitously) were: acoustics, earthquake, challenge, investigate, request, magnificent, damaged, substantial, serendipity, opposite. I’m submitting this for dVerse OLN. The pub opens tomorrow at 3:00 PM EST. Hope, as always, to see you there.


23 thoughts on “The Love Affair of San Andreas and San Jacinto

  1. ManicDdaily says:

    This is very effective and it is so informative and matter-of-face even as poetic. But yikes! k.


  2. Tony Maude says:

    I would never have guessed the origin of this poem if you hadn’t told us. You’ve woven your randomly chosen words in so seamlessy. And the idea of the earth moving like that – well, I’m blushing just a little 🙂


  3. Beth Winter says:

    Not too long ago, the earth moved under Kansas, an experience I won’t forget. The uncertainty and helpless feeling were difficult to describe and I am grateful that they are rare here. I can’t imagine such tremors being commonplace. I like how you relate the quakes to the birth of beauty. I never thought of it that way. Wonderful work with random words.


  4. wolfsrosebud says:

    u almost make is sound inviting though i know it’s not


  5. Indeed, what a personification you endowed upon the magnificent earth, I truly envisioned it as I read. Well done! ~peace, Jason


  6. Pamela says:

    This is so beautiful, Victoria. I like the personality you give to the earth.
    I am beginning to understand a bit about earthquakes and volcanic eruptions living here. Last Spring was very active for both.



  7. Mary says:

    I enjoyed this, Victoria. I have never experienced an earthquake, but to do so must be quite an experience. Yikes, 2 in one week.


  8. Renee Espriu says:

    I was raised in So CA so know all about earthquakes and the fault lines. I think I’m less fearful of earthquakes than say.. tornadoes. I like the beauty of this as always, out of destruction, can come living, wonderful things.


  9. Grace says:

    I like the acoustics of rapture by earthquakes ~ I too have heard of such stories and wonder if it will ever come to be ~

    Clever weaving of words Victoria ~


  10. ayala says:

    A good capture, Victoria. Reminds me when I was in San Francisco and there was a small tremor. It puts things in perspective.


  11. kkkkaty says:

    As you know we in Seattle have a couple of fault lines and are also overdue for “the big one”…I’ve experienced only two strong ones. The rumblings have been going on steadily recently on the seismograph at the University of Washington. So yours is a moaner, eh? Ours sound like trains….beautiful write.


  12. myrthryn says:

    Methinks that the earth maybe waking up to deal more than love our way. Nicely put!


  13. Earthquakes are not uncommon in Argentina either. I did not think of them like this at my age then, but now I do. Very catching write, that touched real feelings of experienced life and set it to the surface for a moment. Excellente!


  14. I also live in California so I know of these “climaxes” of which you speak! I will be giggling thinking of this poem the next time we get a good shake. Everyone will think I’ve lost it of course.


  15. Tino says:

    Brilliant. I never dreamt you could turn a bunch of random words into something this coherent. Its a totally unique way of looking at the earthquake thats for sure.
    Congrats on such a fine piece from such a dubious source 😉


  16. Truedessa says:

    You really brought out some inner motions of an earthquake ..well done..


  17. Obi says:

    Very nice. Earthquakes are usually seen as disruptive, but perhaps only to we humans on the surface. Nice seeing them in a different (welcome) perspective.


  18. I never thought of earthquakes in such sensual terms before. Makes me want to have a little tremor just for some excitement (like I need it! ;)). I live in a rather seismically erogenous zone, too! 😉


  19. claudia says:

    in my travel guide that i read before i went to california, they mentioned that it is an earthquake endangered area.. we are here as well.. the rhine valley.. we had a really big one that destroyed basle much in 1300.. ok…it’s a while back but when we build our houses here they have to be built earthquake proof.. really enjoyed what you did with the random words victoria…and hope you stay safe over there


  20. Victoria, I love this.


  21. Jamie Dedes says:

    Does get the adeinalin going, doesn’t it?

    I played witht the random word thing about two years ago. Lots of fun. It’s a good suggestion … great word there … such good wordplay when all is said and done.


  22. brian miller says:

    ha…i am liking the spread of the random words….kinda scary too with so much shaking in the ground….we had one here last year….we dont get them often…when traveling in CA i felt quite a few…it is humbling….the power to cause the world (it seems in the moment) to shake….whew…nice write victoria


  23. Extraordinarily beautiful prosody, from beginning to end. I tip my hat to a fine piece of poetry.


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