The days after September 11th

Sirens keening a nation’s woes,

Tragedy wailing in the air,

Sadness on every poster on the telephone poles,


Looks normal, we try to put a normal face on it

And cry with the sirens keening tragically everywhere


Is this our resolve after tragedy…?

New Yorkers look more beautiful today,

Handsomer, stronger, more serious

Tragedy, no resolve, will make us better,

Will help us heal the hurt,

Will let us overcome the grim reality,


Stronger, handsomer, more serious, resolute


Kandehara, Kabhul, places with romantic names and a desperate landscape

Peopled by groups who see destiny as destruction and


Life not in the present but in a hereafter of glory and death


September 12, 2001


Out of a crisp blue sky,

The jolt so sudden, so startling,

A thunderclap or sudden soaking storm,

Bursting from clouds on a seemingly quiet


Is mild punishment after the devastation of those planes.

Now a clear crisp sky reminds me of the shock of that beautiful crisp morning,

and echoes with the shock from that beautiful horrible morning…


Blue sky II


Out of a crisp blue sky

The jolt so sudden, so startling

The world gasped, at least most of it,

And held its breath,

Then exhaled slowly

As the bright sky turned dark, murky like politics,

Dust covered the streets and smoke filled the air

Where proud buildings once hosted thousands

Going about their business in peace

Under blue clear skies, startled by smoke and flames

Unexpected undeclared war and destruction

How long can we live with terror and fear,

Cower under the unnamed threats,

Lose our sense of freedom, of justice,

In the flames that engulfed our friends






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