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Beyond the Lone Islands

Friday, 11 September 2009

In Memory Poem from 2001

I am not American, but I think the whole world remembers.

I wrote a poem a few days after the "nine eleven" events. If the perspective should seem odd to anyone, there is some personal stuff woven into it as well - some other bad news that I got while the TV images were still burning in my mind. The personal news had nothing to do with the events in New York - they just became forever fused together in my mind.

The scene from the TV news that made the most powerful impression on me was the film sequence of a man who was walking away from the towers, turned round to look when he heard the crash - and then just turned back and kept on walking at the same pace as before. What had happened was just too much to take in.


I was the World Trade Center
minding my own business
and other people's too, if asked
until I was run down
by an unexpected terrorist attack

I'm the man in the street
looking back over my shoulder
but continuing my walk
not able to take in
what just happened here

Now I'm just a ruin
a heap of smoking rubbish
full of chaos and destruction
fire, pain and fear
wishing everything undone

Is there an answer somewhere
a way to rise again
high above the skyline
without fear of new attacks
without the need to fight back

I'd also like to send you over to Wood and Pixels Narratives to look at Dan's pictures for today.


Dan Felstead said...

Dawn Treader...that image is also fixed in my mind as well...I know the one you speak of...actually I saw it today on a video replay of the event. It had such an impact on me because i was literally a river's width from the attacks. If you look at a map of new York City area...find Jersey city on the west side of the Hudson river...and then on the river shore...find the Jersey City Hilton Hotel...I was staying there for a refresher course for my job. I watched in horror as it p[played out fight in front of me...the hotel is directly across from where the towers stood. Within minutes the entire communications network shut telephones, new cell phones and when the second tower television. I was in one of the most technically sophisticated cities in the world and couldn't communicate with my family back in St. Louis. 3 days later I received my first email from my was dated 10:00am, September 11th...all it said was "Are you ok?". Later I read that that phrase was the number one most sent in email on September 11th.

Thanks for your take on the seems it affected everyone world wide.


DawnTreader said...

Dan, I had no idea you were actually in New York at the time! (only that you visited afterwards) That must have been a terrible experience! And even worse in some ways for your family, not knowing whether you were safe!! It was upsetting enough to watch the news even from the other side of the world and without having reason to believe anyone near and dear to me might have been directly affected by the events.
Thanks for sharing.

Dan Felstead said...

Our Pharmaceutical company was based in Jersey. I was in the Fertility division and I was proctoring a training class. It is strange how I have this connection to New York so far away from it but I really do feel a connection to the folks there. Once the news hit...I remember going to a phone bank to try to phone home...a friend of mine...big guy about 6'2" was standing by the phone bank with the phone dangling from the line and he was uncontrollably bawling because so many of his friend worked in the Twin Towers. Later I found out that even though several worked there...only one died in the collapse but still a huge loss for him. I still talk to him now and then and he will never be able to get past that day.


California Girl said...

thoughtful and's a sad day each yr in the U.S. I'm struck by how sad each year as I see people just mention the date with a look that says it all.

we appreciate the kindness from the rest of the world.

Dr.John said...

Thank you for your kind poem.


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