Sunday, September 11, 2016

Meditation on a Tragic Anniversary

A radiant cloudless morning
_____ air fresh and clear
__________ sky the brightest blue
_______________ mood mellow
A lovely young day bright with promise ––

And then a gleaming silver shell appeared
_____ mirroring beautifully the morning sunshine 
__________ A Thing of Beauty –– but horribly out of place
_______________ like a spacecraft from an alien planet

Dipping crazily far too low upon the skyline
_____ before anyone could feel the menace ––
_________ it smashed directly into a gigantic upright construct ––
_______________ one of a pair ––

Twin monuments to Greed and Vain Ambition some were quick to say

But sudden violent death eradicated an entire investment firm
_____ in one horrific instant –– 
__________ dozens of bright young lives incinerated –– gone!

Before dazed onlookers could begin to understand what was happening
_____ another silver shell acting as a missile 
__________ crashed into the second of the giant pair.

Ugly buildings!  A hideous blot 
_____ on the once-graceful Manhattan skyline!

“Ada Louise Huxtable might secretly rejoice at this,”
_____ part of me though wickedly, for I had always resented
__________ the overbearing, outsized twins ––
_______________ bounders, interlopers, invaders!

But before that ruined day was halfway through
_____ three-thousand innocents had been
__________ burned alive, brains and eyeballs boiled 
__________ skulls pulverized, skeletons crushed
_______________ between twisting, white hot girders
_______________ pelted with falling rubble midst the flames
_______________ caught, crippled, crumpled, smashed to bits ––
__________ Smothered in collapsing stairwells and buried alive
_______________ in a torrent of red hot cinders and debris

In so many ways the scene must have mimicked the final hours
_____ of the residents of Pompeii and Herculaneum

And then there were those hideous echoes 
––––– of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire ––
Where so many jumped to their deaths
_____ to escape being burned alive ––
In an instant smashed skulls, broken bones and bloody pulp 
_____ were all that remained of their vibrant young lives ––
__________ and locked inside the ruined sweatshop –– 
_______________ cinders –– ashes and soot.

And just a year ago in Benghazi –– to mark the anniversary 
__________ of this Great Triumph of Barbarity over Civilization
_______________ our young, handsome, well-meaning, 
_______________ hopelessly naive, ambassador to Libya
_______________ was surrounded in his quarters, 
_______________ dragged out into the streets
_______________ beaten, sodomized and brutally murdered.

But what does any of this matter? What difference does it make?
_____ Let’s just forget about it, and MOVE ON.
__________ Might as well. 

We are privileged to live in interesting times.

Kyrie eleison!
Kyrie eleison!
Christe eleison!

~ FreeThinke 


  1. ...privilege a large factor in contributing to the "general" misperceived "surreality" of the event.

  2. "May you live interesting times" is not a privilege, but an old Chinese curse.

    Officially, when I was singing in the choir, it was Kyrie eleison x 3, Christe eleison x 3, Kyrie eleison x 3.

    Though in my Mass in A minor, it's one iteration of each. :-)

  3. Indeed. "What difference, at this point, does it make?"

    My thoughts and prayers for the souls who died, the heroes of that day, the workers and those who still suffer physical and mental wounds that will never heal.

    1. I just learned over the weekend the somewhere between thirty and thirty-five-thousand died subsequent to the 911 atrocity. Every one of their deaths was directly attributable to conditions imposed by the attacks.

  4. Jesus! Here's the best thing I've ever seen written about the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and nobody pays any attention to it.

    I think you're playing to the wrong audience, FreeThinke. Nobody .around here wants to do anything but tell how much they hate this and that. I don't think any of them are capable of appreciating artistry and imagery like yours. If it were the kind of world it ought to be, you'd be honored and applauded, but it isn't.

    I hope you keep up the good work. The world wasn't very kind to many of the really great ones in the past either. Most of us are not very far above the beasts, but its always been that way.

    Anyway thanks for marking the sad anniversary with such depth of feeling.



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