sept  11  2001 
memorial  poem 
  keith  o'connor
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. A great tragedy not only for the United States but for the world. I watched the unfolding events on television and waited for over a month - until my mind could come to some understanding  - which is expressed in this poem. 
. September Eleven 
two thousand and one 

part one: the innocents 

over the eastern corner 
of the eagle's nest 
dawn awoke 
slowly stretching  into a bright 
blue skied morning 
that highlighted  
the proud twin towers 
standing tall 
over New York 
doorway - to the eagle's nest 
high in the pure blue sky 
faint vapor trails 
marked the passing 
of friendly passenger birds 
filled with 
men - women - children 
on their way to work 
on their way to play 
on their way to enjoy   
another peaceful day 
in the eagle's nest 
a lone passenger bird 
turned in a slow 
graceful curve 
then   continued  
flying straight 
straight towards north tower 
in those few moments 
the safe world of imaginary violence 
the real world of actual violence 
exploded in blood red fire 
followed by black clouds of death 
billowing from north tower's gaping wound 
the tower's life blood of innocents 
confused and panicked  
some jumping from fiery windows 
into the arms of death 
thousands of others 
running down fear filled stairs 
New York's 
fire and rescue workers 
rushed into the tower of death 
pushing upward against 
the down ward escaping innocents 
they rushed upwards 
towards the blood red fire 
towards the scorching heat 
intent  to seal the gapping wound 
they rushed 
rushed innocently 
into invisible arms of death 
outside north tower 
a second  passenger bird 
turned in a slow 
graceful curve 
towards south 
twin tower 
for a second time 
the safe world of imaginary violence 
the real world of actual violence 
exploded in blood red fire 
followed by black clouds of death 
billowing from south tower's gaping wound 
the minutes passed slowly 
then   one   by   one 
one hundred and ten floors 
of dying south tower  
followed shortly by  
one hundred and ten floors 
of dying north tower 
imploding floors 
fell pounding upon lower floors 
fell pounding upon lower floors 
fell pounding upon lower floors 
pounding mothers - fathers 
pounding brothers - sisters 
pounding friends - enemies 
pounding firemen - policemen 
pounding rescue workers 
all pounded 
pounded into a mountain 
of  blood stained rubble 
belching grey clouds of chocking dust 
blowing down streets and alleyways 
at the heels of  terrified running innocents 
searching for pockets 
pockets of breathable air 
passenger birds flying high in the sky 
which one is friendly 
which one is enemy 
the eagle - sensing danger
closes it's nest 
sending passenger birds 
north - to land 
on the Canadian Beaver's tail 
as the British Lion 
jumps to the side of  
the American Eagle 

part two: the aftermath 

upon seeing the twins blood stained 
rubble of death and destruction 
those - who love to hate 
expressed their joy 
some of those - who love to hate 
danced in the streets 
blaming the eagle's  
anti-Islamic  foreign policy  
as cause for the eagle's pain 
some of those - who love to hate 
preached moral majority from their pulpits 
of how the gays - lesbians 
and pro-choice advocates 
had stolen god's protection 
from the eagle 
now was the time 
to make laws 
punishing them 
some of those - who love to hate 
Christianity as being superior to Islam 
not capable of war on innocents 
but  they had forgotten 
Christianity's history 
during their holy crusades 
crusades that turned  
Islamic country after Islamic country 
into graveyard after graveyard 
filled with Islam's believers 
some of those - who love to hate  
complained that some memorial services  
gave no  mention 
to the word god 
that a memorial service must 
mention the word god 
or it is nothing 
but a bunch of pagans 
the great majority of the world's people 
- seeing senseless killing and destruction- 
stand together with those suffering families 
and in sincere empathy 
they  stand silently 
each feeling the other's sorrow 
collectively as one 
part three: the future 

those  very fundamentalists 
who use religion to gain political objectives 
now threatened 
world order 
wide spread 
ever growing 
uncontrollable hatred 
charismatically fused 
by  fundamentalist leaders 
preaching: God is War 
        preaching: God is Conquest 
    preaching: God is Famine 
  preaching: God is Death 
marching - marching - to death 
under the banner 
God is Great 
as they set free 
the four horseman 
to pound 
Islamic country  after Islamic country 
and every in between country 
just as the four horseman 
 Christian country  after Christian country 
in the time of the Inquisition 
the eagle takes up arms 
ready to lead the peace - hungry world 
into a war against terror 
some blame the terror 
on eagle's foreign policy hawks 
for going too far in it's fight against the bear 
some blame the terror 
on eagle's infidel troops 
stationed on holy Islamic soil 
some blame the terror 
on the eagle's hawks 
for always thinking of war 
some blame the terror 
on the eagle's greed 
for thinking only thinking of its oil interests 
some blame the terror 
on the eagle 
saying it attacked its own towers 
some blame the terror 
on the eagle for thinking 
of its own political advantages 

reasoned logic 
of implication negation and conclusion 
pitted to defend the eagle 
pitted to blame  the eagle 
now irrelevant 
whatever the eagle's imperfections 
fate has given the eagle it's direction 
lead the peace-hungry world 
lead the Islamic World 
lead to save the light of Islam's Koran 
from the darkness of Islam's Taliban 
stop the dark hawks of terror 
that hide in holy books 
take away their hawkish power 
lead the world 
towards peaceful acceptance 
of all differences 
that inflame 
hawkish self-righteous passions 
fate has handed down its challenge 
ready or not 
the isolationist eagle has become 
world leader 
and  must steer the world chariot 
a chariot 
pulled in opposite directions 
by killer hawks 
by suicidal doves 
the struggling eagle 
steers the thundering chariot 
onto a new 
imperfect road 
blundering hopefully 
towards accommodating 
an unpredictable one-world 

Keith O'Connor 
Ottawa Ontario Canada  
2001 Oct 17 
Revised: 2002 Jan  8 



Thanks to my wife Sharon for her editorial comments:  2002  Jan  8    

Part one: explores the innocent victims of terror and looks at that  noble human quality of sacrificing  one's life for another.  Part two: explores fundamentalist madness showing that it easily hides behind both the Koran and the Bible.  Part three: explores the eagles response. 

Definitions: (a) the four horsemen refer to the four horsemen of the apocalypse: used to symbolize the four terrors: 1) war;   2) conquest;   3) famine;   4) death. (b) Koran - Islamic Holy Book.  (c) Taliban - Islamic fundamentalists, known to kill anyone not strictly adhering to the literal interpretation of the Koran.  (d) The Bear - symbol designating Russia.  (e) Peace Hungry World - includes all countries supporting the eagle's leadership. (f) Islamic World - includes all Islamic countries and in particular those Islamic countries whose populations support the Taliban against the efforts of the eagle. (g) Hawks - solving problems by use of force and terror. (h)  Doves - solving problems by use of dialogue. (i)  chariot - symbolizes coordination between the dark and light forces: ( Hawks and Doves can each go too far in their own direction and must be kept in balance )  which requires rare leadership qualities in the chariot driver. 


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