when i left town last friday, the world was caught up in the throes of a fairytale wedding. when i came back on monday, everyone was talking about the death and funeral of a man hated by many. there has been much rejoicing at the death of bin laden and much controversy at the rejoicing. i remember being woken up in los angeles by a phone call to turn on the tv on september 11, 2001. minutes later we watched as the towers collapsed on the other side of the country and i remember the tears i shed at the horror of so many deaths. my ex-husband is from new york and i remember our fears for friends and family.
and yet, whatever the world may think of him, though he was abhorred by many, i cannot rejoice at another death.
this is a poem i wrote at the time:
fragments 911/9.11 9.15.01
tomorrow is late
for the clocks were stopped today,
time evaporating in a fiery ball
and with it, all we know
of how a life is lived.
a ghostly, gray oblivion holds sway;
so many vivid lights flickering
today fear took flight on grim wings,
a grisly nightmare from which we shaken, cannot wake.
the mind rebels.
my mind repels reality as if any moment now
i’ll see the credits roll.
i’ll find that this is just
the spill of celluloid unspooling-
the world is rapidly unhinging.
our souls are singed –
indigo, tinged with rue…
my feelings are mirrored in the frozen faces,
the gashes of tear-stained, stricken eyes,
horrified hands, aghast, clasped
over silently screaming mouths:
“this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends
this is the way the world ends…”
tomorrow is late
and despite our hopeful waiting
today will never come.
we are standing in the shadow of dark wings,
we need to send out the light,
we need to bend back the black.
we have plumetted
and plumbed the depths –
now let us ascend.
and today i would like to extend this wish i wrote for someone dear to me, to you reading this. have a good life. to quote gold fish, get busy living.
have a fabulous odyssey with marvellous adventures.
be safe and successful in your endeavours.
laugh long and loud with enough tears only to bloom the bulbs of joy.
walk in the world with honor and respect for yourself and others.
have compassion as well as passion.
magnify and be magnified – be magnificence personified.
i honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells.
i honor the place in you, which is of light and peace.
when you are in that place in you and I am in that place in me, we are one.