Sunday, September 11, 2011


This is the path they took, following the widening
River, snakelike brown.
It was their navigator, those men who left their souls behind
shoving, stabbing their way into cockpits;
This churning River on its way to the unfull sea
a brackish flow of shit, toxins, discarded drugs and dregs.
The single minded men followed the River,
with twisted histories in their heads.
(The crooked cannot be made straight.)

I have often stood by the River
On a long wooden pier jutting just below the Bridge
Or high in the Hudson Bluffs where lookouts searched
for incoming warships. I protested
by this River, singing of pain, chains and change.
I believed the words I was singing
that everything was beautiful
everything was connected but somehow
we have lost the thread.

(To every thing there is a season)
These words repeat, over, over,
I heard them long ago, sung by the River, with head thrown back,
banjo thrummed and we nodded, yes.
Today I hear these words again, near
the River that pointed straight to the Towers

(and a time) to what purpose, really?
One translation claims that all is meaningless
but this is used to justify the time for war.
Those men who revved and sped
near the end of the River must have thought so too.

Ten years later (there is no good but to rejoice)
We hold hands and each other, by the River.
We enter this house of mourning
where (wisdom is better than the weapons of war)

Eccl. 1.7; 1,15; 3.1; 3.8; 3.12; 7.4; 9.18

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