9/11 Wounded Hearts

Wounded Hearts: on the event of September 11/01
terrorist attacks on New York city
Gordon Coombes

watching thousands die in an instant
planes crashing into skyscrapers
liquid fire raining down on Manhattan
leaving a mountain of twisted metal
a memory from a nightmare
forces itself into our waking world
replayed a thousand times on TV screens
& everyone for days on end
say all the right things
sitting on a cushion cross legged
all a tremble trying to be still
images appear vivid violent
shatter our repose
our minds violated raped
needing to scream
watching crowds panic & running
through the shadow strewn canyons
being chased by boiling grey clouds of dust
tv cameras catch people as they stop
in their tracks looking back in disbelief
watching tears streaming down their faces
watching our hearts break
each time the TV replays the horror
buildings exploding against a still
perfect fragile china blue sky
in that moment frozen in time
leaving us to tend our wounded hearts‑

voices are heard speaking of the horror
the shock & disbelief
& a thousand & one cliches
our language inadequate inept
fails us cut too close to the bone
our hearts breaking
our minds in turmoil
wanting revenge to taste blood
to spill someone's blood
our primitive urges rise to the surface
our civilized rational selves overturned
our blood lust over‑powering
& those who call for cooler heads
need to be patient & keep silent
til those waves of emotions subside‑

for some it is an opportune time
to push their political agenda
to pass on their bile & hate
appealing to tribal instincts
appealing to the worst in us
conjuring up demonic powers
& magical solutions
calling for Crusades & jihads
to last a hundred years
to protect our homeland
to destroy the evil all around us
dividing the world into us & them
our society slipping into insanity
to bring on a new Dark Age
as we retreat into our fortress of fear‑