RSS

Earthquake in the Sky

11 Sep
Picture 1
Black shark glides through blue heavens.
Torpedo in the sky
pierces.  The tower explodes
billows of orange.

Four deadly missiles launched
   that clear Tuesday morning in September.
Four generous and trusting planes,
   pregnant with fire-eager fuel.
Four passenger lists – mostly ordinary people
   and 18 ruthless, cold fanatics.
Four hits: 8:48 - World Trade Center, New York, North Tower.
   9:03 - World Trade Center, New York, South Tower.
   9:45 - Pentagon complex, Washington D.C
   10:10 - A field in Pennsylvania.

Halt commerce.
Suspend trading.
Re-route all flights.
Close New York bridges and subways.

CNN leaps into action,
everywhere a buzz.
Terrorists have struck.
Hell in the sky and
now on earth.
America Under Attack!

Babel towers collapse,
disappear in a cloud of smoke, ash, dust.

Men in suits, women in business dress
Flee!  Run for your lives
(this is no special effects movie).
Escape the billowing destruction.

Gray-crusted rescuers
   walk in ashen moonscape
   under a charcoal sky,
   mouths and noses covered with rags.
Eyewitnesses describe screams, terror, papers flying,
   people leaping from the inferno.
A nurse’s voice breaks – so many shattered
   bodies, some without skin, limbs blown off.
Stunned Manhattans, two-to-three wide
   walk slowly, grimly down the street
   in the sunny afternoon,  past our screen.

Experts grope for understanding:
“...this is low tech, high concept...”
“...at a time like this, people look for direction...”
“...ending your own life is not what someone does...”

And under the images, an incessant scrolling marquee 
of up-to-the-minute:
...THERE IS AN URGENT PLEA FOR BLOOD. DISNEYLAND - CALIFORNIA
AND DISNEYWORLD - FLORIDA ARE CLOSED.  ALL MAJOR LEAGUE GAMES
ARE CANCELLED. ALL NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS TO GO ON HIGHEST ALERT.
THERE IS AN URGENT PLEA FOR BLOOD...

It is Wednesday morning.
Sunny heavens are empty and silent.
Slowly we surface –  dazed, blinking –
to a landscape that has shifted.
Yesterday there was an earthquake in the sky.
Today we live in a different world.

***************
The news and images of 9/11 ricocheted around the world in September 2001. Here the southwest corner of Canada, we felt the shock along with everyone else. This is something I wrote a few days after the event. It’s not great poetry, I know, only one person’s way of processing those awful events.

Advertisements
 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 11, 2009 in Personal

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

 
%d bloggers like this: