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SEPTEMBER 11, 2001


Like most folks, I'm still in shock but am now attempting to carry on.

I could find few words yesterday. Words are so often "the fog one has to see through." There is only the immense weight of profound sadness. We shall pick ourselves up though, as humans everywhere do, and we shall go on with our lives.

How discouraging it is to know that there are people squandering their precious time, their consciousness, by dwelling on fear, hate, and envy. When will we learn that killing another is no different than chopping off one of our own fingers?

flame snuffed
smoke from the altar candle
We mourn together. And we shall rise together, all in due time.

— Christopher Herold, USA

I was shocked by yesterday's events.

I watched for awhile, then went to do some stuff in the other room. At that time, the twin towers were still standing.

I came back an hour later and they were gone.

What hit me the most were the stories of the people jumping to their deaths.

Can you imagine going to work on a normal day, then having to choose which mode of death is least painful?

I read the report on the internet that two of the people held hands.

This makes it even more personal for me. I started thinking "who would I want to die with or for, if I were on that ledge?"

I came up with three people and a dog, my best friend Scott, my mom, my brother and "Benji".

Not a long list. . .but a priceless one.

black clouds—
the New York skyline
forever changed

wail of sirens—
geese fly past
the smoke and fire

clouds of smoke
eclipse the sky—
a flock of geese

— Kathy Lippard Cobb, USA

through the clear glass
of the outdoor light globe
gray September clouds
              — for the wounded and
           for their healing

— Bruce Ross, USA

in a cloud—

noon darkness
a cloud
within me

— martin cohen, USA

Our hearts are breaking, over and over, for the victims and their families and friends.  Our country's loss is the world's loss.  The support and love from friends in other countries is more precious to us than can ever be described.
through gray mist
the cardinal's song

— Ferris and Harry Gilli, USA

liberty bell & independence hall the closing down of 9/11/01

no place to hide dark now covers what rubble covers

                                — marlene mountain, USA

i'm trying to assimilate this horrible event, the loss, the many things that come to rise in my mind, heart.

one of my thoughts is the almost unspeakable one that
americans must awaken to their own complicity in perpetrating cruelty and terror internationally  — past and present.

a canadian columnist just chimed in on our generosity, and how we're unfairly bad-mouthed, underappreciated.

all true.

also true — the dozens and dozens, likely hundreds of times the usa has committed or supported or ignored acts and governments of terrorism worldwide when it suited our purpose to do so — usually when it supported our greed, or the greed of powerful men and consortia of men.

i'm a vietnam vet. don't tell me i'm innocent if i get caught in the crossfire. and many of those killed in the wtc were not more innocent than i — they were working in the money machine.

which is not to say i don't weep. for our lives. for an innocence i wish we all had and which some have had, do have. for a compassion i have too little of, and which those who dance in the streets of palestine clearly don't have either.

revenge — i want none of it.

i want us to study peace with the same dedication we've fought wars. i want a peace budget, not a defense budget.

(What Elizabeth St Jacques expresses in her haiku:)

 dark sun
 i hold your hand
 in thick black smoke
is where we should all be right now. i'm trying to be there, looking at some tough things to see. see the above.

rodney king's wise words, 'why can't we all get along.' can we finally begin to try to answer that question, with the same time and energy and money and other resources we're undoubtedly going to spend tracking down the ignorant, heartless people who so cruelly killed so many thousands of people yesterday.

if we don't then all those people who were killed and injured yesterday died for what. a flag i guess. we're not going to be doing their memory any lasting service unless we study peace. in our hearts.

not easy. it's easier to go to war. much easier.

(i am reminded of the following:)

What I see, closing my eyes:
space, space
in which I am and am not.

           — Octavio Paz
         (trans. Karma Tenzing Wangchuk)

— Dennis Dutton, USA

towering smoke —
a phoenix rising
under fire

fire and brimstone  —
yet blue sky prevails
and birds sing

Reminded of Vesuvius,
people run through smoke-filled streets.

They stop to help strangers
amid rubble and wailing sirens.

Even as the heart cries out,
how strong the will to love and live.

A terrible time, to be sure, but let us never underestimate the human spirit.

— kirsty karkow, USA

My family waits hour by hour to hear from friends who were in the upper floors of the World Trade  Center at the time of the terrorist actions. Many of my family and friends are stock traders who live in New York, so many of us will be touched by this tragedy beyond normal proportions. But may all who were hurt by this deliberate act of war find peace and healing in the time to come. And may we all unite in the defense of our common freedom. God bless the United States of America!

— William Cullen Jr., USA

three minute silence
shades of autumn light slip
across the peninsular

tuesday's morning paper
pages of news
no longer relevant

— Matt Morden, U.K.

It is indeed a shock, but it is comforting to know that our friends from abroad stand with us at such a moment. This was an attack on all civilization, after all, not on the United States.

— Charles Trumbull, USA

 ...and my words fail miserably. I must borrow from our past, from those who have lived and felt what we now feel, and more. To all of you, I can only say pray to whatever force you hold most dear, and have faith that faith indeed survives.

(I think of the following:)

        I wake and feel the fell of dark, not day ,
        What hours, O what black hours we have spent
              This night! what sights you, heart, saw; ways you went!
        And more must, in yet longer light's delay.
        With witness I speak this. But where I say
               Hours I mean years, mean life. And my lament
        Is cries countless, cries like dead letters sent
        To dearest him that lives alas! away.

                   — Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-1889) (first verse)

— larry gross, USA

Shockingly tragic!  Been watching TV news reports all day, and am
horrified at the latest: teams of doctors heading for Ground Zero
to free trapped persons by amputation. It's prayer time.

— Francine Porad, USA

I just pray hard that this incident will not lead the world to insecure conditions.

sunflowers withered—
leaving seeds
embedded with hope

smoke gets in God's eyes

— kuniharu shimizu, Japan

Things are surreal--the weather is idyllic, life goes on normally, until you approach the pentagon area (about 45 miles from me) and then it is a military zone

everyone i know in nyc and dc is fine, though i haven't heard from a couple of friends in the military intelligence, but that might be expected just now — they'll be busy, and i don't believe they work in the affected section of the pentagon building

we're all hoping for the best, and though saddened, things are moving forward even in the most affected areas

— Jim Kacian, USA

Even here in California traffic is slower than usual, parking lots more empty, flags at half staff. Things must be very trying closer to D.C. and New York.

(A haiku poet there) says that no haiku folks live close enough to the attacked area in New York to have been in immediate danger, but still we wonder.

— Michael Dylan Welch, USA

I am also in shock. It is so horrible I tried to stay away from all news.  Can't handle it.  Had relatives right there, but they are alive. Thank God.  Another relative of mine is a fireman.  He was injured in a fire that killed a few of his friends about a month ago.  Because of that injury, he is not on active duty.  His entire unit was killed yesterday.  So in a sense the first fire saved his life.  I can't believe that people could do this. People are feeling the affects of this everywhere.  Luckily, everyone I knew nearby is ok. 

no words
no poetry

— Stanford M. Forrester, USA

those tomorrows lost
in September sunshine—
and now the rain

the wind all night
rips limbs from the trees—
a long wait for dawn

— Billie Wilson,  USA

. . . written with tears:

New York morning
in fire and rubble
my cousin goes
to the long silence

— Joanna M. Weston,  Canada

There are not enough words to express the terror and magnitude of this terrorist attack on America! It is obvious that these terrorists want to put America on its knees -- and for what? For Americans to embrace their religion? They might want to make those of their faith believe that America is the common enemy -- but it is they who are their own enemies and the enemies of their own faith.

It is not religious freedom or this and that kind of freedom that
is being threatened here but freedom per se. This terrorist attack is an attack on every individual's freedom to live and pursue happiness according to his/her own beliefs without malicious intent to hurt another. How could one act in the name of the all-loving and all-merciful Allah, or the all-loving and all-merciful Christian God for that matter, and at the same time premeditatedly maim and kill innocent people? No, this is not about God or God's will. This is about the vengeful will of deluded men to impose their political-religious ambitions on the world.

I am not a religious person. But I believe and respect any and all
religions, as long as it does not tolerate the indiscriminate
injustice to others regardless of religion -- be it here in America
or in other countries. I believe in the common desire of all peoples
for peace.

I light a candle and pray  for the victims of this terrorist attack
on America and for all those who have suffered directly or indirectly. And also for all the innocent victims yet to suffer or die as a consequence of terrorist actions around the world.

into the gloom
after the ninth month terror
prayers and candlelights

— ito (Juanito Escareal), USA

burned out steel
of the World Trade Center
the flag was still there

my neighbor wears
red, white, and blue
I dress in black

security guards
sweat by the parking entrance
I show my ID

hospital gift shop
the flag pin rack
is empty

— Marlene Egger, USA

. . . this horrible chaos. It is almost unbelievable yet someone sent me a quote from Nostradamus predicting just this thing. It is really spooky.

. . . thousands upon thousands missing . . . And the debris is so horrible . . .  It is indeed like a bombed out city. I did not think I would ever see such a horrible thing in my lifetime. What can we do but take one day at a time.

— Sandra Morgan, USA

could it be a dream?
   scraps of paper carried off
       by a seaward wind

— Marjorie A Buettner, USA

I am also in a state of shock and horror at the carnage and unnecessary destruction of human life. 

I am still praying for all the victims and their families to help them come to terms with what has happened. Tonight I will light another incense stick and send them Light.  I believe it is important to send love and light into the world, however we do this, to offset the darkness. Else this would become one very dark planet indeed. 

office papers
float over New York rubble
this gray morning
impossible to sift through this
atrocity of man against man

— Thelma Mariano, Canada

 Reflections, page 2

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