Thoughts on 9/11 Anniversary

Once again 9/11. 9/11 the anniversary of Allende’s government being overthrown in Chile as part of a CIA planned coup. 9/11 the day the  World Trade Center falls and Pentagon terrorist actions. And if the hundreds of engineers who say the buildings could not have gone down because of a fire are somehow “wrong”, and if the fact that two buildings were hit by two planes yet a third one mysteriously fell, point to it being an “inside job,” it remains a terrorist action.  In any case the poem below still stands. It was written within days of the event. A couple of poem notes. Section 2. Ray’s Howl is a paraphrasing on a radio interview I heard the next day.  Section 3. 911 I did not change the names f my friends and relatives. All this really happened.

world trade rubble


news feeds

  1. 1. last rites

my ears are full

the building screeches

smoke and heat

my skin blisters

i’m going to die

windows open

i’m going to fly


dust rises

nothing but smoke

gray turning black

turning white

i am  blind

i can see an opening

window frame and clouds

i’m going to fly

i’m going to die


i’m going to fly

wind in front and air

that my lungs can clutch

i’m going to fly

screams in back

and a wall of fire


i’m going to fly

i love my life

i’m going to fly

i love the sky

i’m going to fly

my god my dear sweet god

i’ll kiss your ground

i’m going to die


  1. ray’s howl

my niece she was so young

her eyes so bright shining

on a moonless night

kill them

kill them all

kill them

kill them  all


she rode her bike

up and down those streets

not a job for a girl

i always said


she made me laugh

from the first day i saw her

soft hair toothless grin

smooth pink skin


so innocent my niece

so full of life


to choose new york

over california


not a mean bone in her body

no hate in her soul

kill them  kill them all

kill their families

decimate their memory

they have killed my niece

all of them


and you who would

point a finger of blame

at this nation

look at our stars

our flag waving broadly

the red is for blood


and you who would

talk of roosting chickens

and debts repaid

you who would say

we america brought this on

kill you too kill you

kill you all


no hate within her soul

no bitterness on her tongue

no blame she held no blame

kill them

kill them all

bomb their villages

wipe out their memory

let no one know they ever were


my niece so young

so sweet so kind

kill them  kill you

kill them all

kill them  kill you

kill you  all


  1. 911

911 911

nana is in san francisco weeping

she can not find her eldest girl

who runs down wall street

stepping over dead bodies

tears washing concrete soot

from her dark round eyes

her lover jumps in front of her

wards off the explosion of glass

pointed at her model’s face

sleek smooth pecan brown

he is cut he is slashed

he bleeds as they run

and weep

as nana cries out in fear

in relief in praises when

she hears her daughter alive

amidst so many deaths


911 911

jaci cannot find her sister

she is having dreams

that turn colors

and leave mirages of touching

but the phone hasn’t rung

so she writes poems inside her fear

and we pray and we pray

louder and louder

but the phone stays silent


911 911

pamela puts her arms around a child she does not know

who sits in the office of a small new jersey school

my mother works in new york the child weeps

and i don’t know where

pamela doesn’t say it will be alright

she says we’ll find out baby

we’ll find out


911 911

it has only begun

a first salvo some say

scripture armageddon

vengeance is mine says the state

vengeance is ours say the newscasters

but the dead will still be dead

and the wounded forever scarred

and thousands of families

torn and crippled


and people keeping jumping

out of skyscraping windows

falling like stringless marionettes

to the dust covered ground below


i keep watching them fall

as if somehow being witness

will make it better

and the planes cutting through

concrete glass and iron

and the fire and the smoke

projected again and again

in an endless loop

the buildings melting to powder

the people covered in white

like an african death ritual

powdered skin and hair and cloth

eyes open and unblinking


911 911


world emergency


and here

and here

we are all terrified

we are all terrorized

we are all reduced

to rubble

needing to build again





  1. aftermath

checking in

i am safe

checking in

i am praying

checking in

i have faith

checking in

i am working

for a justice built

on food and equity

checking in

i am struggling

for a peace

built on land and family

checking in

checking in

i am seeking

a righteousness

built on humanity and sweat

and a future

built on love

and memory


devorah major

copyright © 2017


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