September 11, 2019

I wrote the text below on the one year anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks. I re-read this every year, and today, its message rings so true… “at a time in our history where the world is truly small, we can no longer allow our self appointed interests and egos to drive our actions within this world community“… Please read. God bless us all.

September 11, 2002

In reflection of all that has come to pass, and with hope in all that can potentially be, I have slowed my world down today, to observe. I have witnessed emotions’ range and have felt the deepest sincerity in all that I have taken part in. For me, this one-year milestone, of the tragedies of September 11 2001, has left me with a longing that I must share.

This morning’s sunrise was quite profound. As I sipped my coffee, looking eastward out of my breakfast nook’s window, I was greeted with a broken sky and the rosy edged clouds from last night’s rain. Gray and gentle giants stretching toward the eastern horizon, gently kissed by the dawning sun. The sky held the deepest blue and set my view in a very powerful background, providing a triumphant and yet foreboding setting for the red, white and blue of the morning. My mood seemed to match, as I felt reassured by our nation’s collective resolve exhibited over the past year, and yet I felt apprehensive in the light of on-going struggle. As I sat in silent reflection, the words of Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address played through my mind. “With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan–to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations.” I sat mesmerized.

My radio was on in the background, and as if called by my own will, New York’s Governor Pataki initiated the memorial service at ground zero with Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. The clouds outside my window seemed to change their color in response to his words, providing a balance of gray and white, while the sky’s deep blue lightened a shade, yielding a canvas for hope.

Moments later, former Mayor Giuliani began reading the names of the victims of the attack on the world trade center towers. Gordon McCannel Aamoth Jr., Edelmiro (Ed) Abad, Maria Rose Abad, Andrew Anthony Abate, Vincent Abate, Laurence Abel, William F. Abrahamson, Richard Anthony Aceto, Heinrich B. Ackermann, … The victim’s faces, those I could recall from the web pages I perused last year, began to drift through my mind’s eye. The tears began to come and I began to realize how much we have lost. Lost lives, broken families, and lost loves. As a nation, we are different now. We have realized, most likely for the first time that we are not an island of security. That our financial and military power is not what differentiates us, but that which makes us unique, and subsequently, that which poises us as a target of such acts of terrorism. I also realized that we have gained. For through our learnings of such experience, we have found a new resolve that echoes old values, such as those our very nation was founded on. And in such, we have gained temperate understanding of just how precious this life truly is, and how diverse and distressed our world society has become. In this, I believe, we can proudly say that we stand alone among our allies and enemies, for our nation exhibits a worldly sampling of all nations, all cultures, and all beliefs. Our lives and values are based in true freedom, founded in trust and honesty, and are exhibited through peace and compassion. And in such, we extend a greater love through our exhibition of this understanding. This diversity is of our design, driven by our desire, and forms the very mettle that identifies Americans as people of natural determination and resolve.

And yet, we are a delicately contrary people. For as we stand upon the virtue of such great values, we allow our gains and successes to wrap us in what we perceive to be our own personal, impervious lives. In times when our successes are at their greatest, and our challenges small, we exhibit an almost ignorant selfishness. We ignore our neighbors, we throw frustration upon our fellow citizens in traffic, and we seem to migrate to a gluttony of extremes. Our drive is focused upon financial growth, more service, less cost, and a need for exponential improvement. I believe that our behavior, associated with such perceived successes, is the very element that fuels the hatred of those we call our enemies today. Ironically, it is this same behavior that was once perceived to be the enemy of our nation’s founding fathers, and to that point, that which has brought us to this day of memorial. How ironic.

The radio’s reading of the names of the lost was only interrupted long enough for other memorials to begin, or for moments of silence to be observed at the very minute, one year ago, when the trade center towers collapsed. Three very distinct and individual memorials, New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville Pennsylvania, yet all rang with names of victims, lost lives, lost loves, and broken families. Tragedies beyond belief. Through the constant of remembering, through the tears and tightened throat of reliving the pain and horror, I made my way to a place in my town where Mozart’s Requiem would be played as part of a rolling national endeavor to promote healing and remembrance.

The daylight moved to deeper tones of color. The low hanging clouds grew gray, yet the daylight beyond became brighter and more brilliant with blue. Even a few little spits of drizzle managed to mix in. All seeming to reflect my mood, and hopefully the moods of others. Others who, like myself, were needing to reconnect, acknowledge the pain and loss, and take from that, some magic and secret element to fuel understanding for the world we now live in.

As I parked my truck and began to draw the will to move myself into the heart of the day’s sorrow, I found that I could not extinguish the sounds of the radio, still reading the names of the more than 3000 individuals who lost their lives that day. It seemed like an eternity had passed, yet the alphabetical reading was only in the “C’s”. Jose Cardona, Dennis M Carey, Edward Carlino, Michael Scott Carlo, David G. Carlone, Rosemarie C. Carlson, Mark Stephen Carney, Joyce Ann Carpeneto, Jeremy M. Carrington… Somehow, I managed the resolve to wipe away the tears, and moved myself from the truck and toward the theatre where many of my fellow citizen’s hearts would hopefully throng, along with the music, and mine.

I found a seat near the back, which was elevated, and provided a large view of the theatre. I sat alone while the hall slowly filled to near capacity. Many of the faces that began to sit around me were solemn, sorrowful. Yet so many others were taking this performance as if it were an event of opportunity. Around me, through voices overheard, were people frustrated with the remaining seat selection, people with agendas that were driven away from their busy lives. I heard comments complaining about the reading of the names during the memorial services in New York City, comments spoken in frustration that television news coverage had forced them to endure such monotony and such a waste of time. I found myself shocked that such selfish and cold comments could be made at a time when human compassion and understanding should naturally prevail. Only few around me seemed to be here to mourn, or reflect. My witnessing of such brought on a great sadness that we, as collective survivors, do not cherish what we have learned, and what we have lost of life and love, through today’s echoing pain.

As the lights dimmed and the music began, I recognized the seed of a longing that only then, I realized was growing inside of me. I realized that in the moments of the greatest tragedy ever encountered on our nation’s soil, was contained the truest and most sincere outpouring of human compassion and love. For it is the desperation associated with great tragedy or great need that drives us to acts of heroism, kindness, and sacrifice. It is this great human capability that I long for in my daily life, and the true reason that I came here today, to find it, and to claim it. Not to account for and own for myself, but to capture and echo as a prayer for all mankind to recognize and hold on to these values as operators in our daily lives. As people of any society or congregation, we truly long to embody these virtues in our own behavior, yet we distort our understanding of our own desires by way of our societal driven needs, perceptions, and the manner by which we market ourselves to ourselves.

As the greatest national power on the globe, and at a time in our history where the world is truly small, we can no longer allow our self appointed interests and egos to drive our actions within this world community. Our nation was founded from the phoenix of past tyranny and societal selfishness, and now, again, we tender that same negative inertia and believe that it is good. For the greatest thing we have gained as a result of the September 11 attacks, is that we are now placed center stage and in a position to truly show the mettle of our collective soul. Our worldly place today, whether we accept it or not, provides us with the greatest opportunity for leadership that any nation has ever been afforded. As such, our true calling is to act in the manner of behavior that provided foundation for our nation, molded our value system, and provided our compassionate acceptance of this world. In the name of all past tragedies, moments of great desperation and heroism, we must hold on to and exhibit these values in our every day lives. We must embrace and exhibit this deepest compassion, love and understanding if we truly desire to lead our global society beyond these days of malice and hatred. For the fabric of our very existence is now openly exposed, and calling for our own regeneration, urging our success and evolution. Without which, well, here we will be again, regretting past tragedy, memorializing our loss, and praying for a future peace, as nothing more than mere children of histories’ repetition.

J. Blue September 11, 2002

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Scattered Light – a collection

Hello my friends –

I have just published another collection of poetry entitled “Scattered Light”.

This is a large collection of poems ranging back to 2002, yet most of the poetry comes from writings between 2011 and 2013. The collection contains 114 poems along with 53 color photos of my own.

The poems in this collection have been selected as individual points of light, sourced from a diverse array of perspective across the strands of personal experience.

Much as the morning sun shares its spectrum through the bevel of ancient glass, this collection too intends to refract your senses and intrigue your desire to see more.

Included are images in reality’s fabric, conjured of the imagination, and borrowed from hints of history. Each song belongs to a unique perception of heart tenderly and carefully stitched throughout.

The poems are drawn through the wide angled lens of life and encompass images of love, war, humor, heartache, triumph and the essence of those living, dead and imagined.

It is my profound wish that you not only enjoy, but claim some vestibule of reflection as your own.

May you always find the fabric of hope, love, and timelessness within this collection.

The book is available in paperback through most brick-and-mortar bookstores and is also available in several forms of eBook through many on-line book retailers.

Thanks to all my friends that have provided such wonderful support and kind words of guidance over the years. It has been through this forum and by way of your heartfelt encouragement that I managed to motivate myself to get this done. Thank you all so very much.

Sincerely,
Jay Blue (jaybluepoems.com)

Links to the various bookstore sights are below.
Amazon
Barnes and Nobel
Books-A-Million
Dorrance
Google Books
Indie Bound

Cover

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Liberty’s Lament

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

liberty back

I stand alone agape in horror, my heart beat racing as voices o’er the sea and land decry in throes, “Liar! Temptress!” sustained echoes that bend their eyes upon my stead, recounting words I’ve loved and said, “Give me your tired, your poor, your tost”, meant in truth but somehow lost.

immigrants

Their eyes on me in deep mistrust, regardless of these words in rust, as families weep and children cry, my God, compassion, somehow denied. I feel their struggles’ burdened weight. I know their pains but not their fate. I sense their road, their oppressive trail. I long to save their lost, their frail.

But something’s wrong, some truth’s misplaced, their hopes are dashed upon my gate. Their jeers come forth, their hopes are lost, as here they find again they’re tossed at threshold of the golden door, as burgeoned hopes fall flat once more, as children weep and mothers cry, my heart’s compassion cast as lie!

My God! Why???

I stand in hope that good prevail, that men of courage will rise to tell the story of our history in terms of truth and liberty. I pray our strength in spirit grows against our selfish interests’ blows, and welcomes to our golden door, the burdened hopeful, the tired and poor.

In every ounce of who we are, in every grain of soul collective, we stand united states as one, as through our history we’re reflective images of those suffering now, for we were they with hopes in how our lives could gain a freedom’s breath. We sacrificed through life and death, became collective, many, one, that through our love and faith we’ve summed the vey best in all of us. We fought oppression, we fought the lust, we stood for truth and knew what must be done to keep a free man free, to stand against the tyranny. We wear compassion on our sleeve, yet stand with strength in values, these, that all men are created equal, we’re born with God’s unalienable rights, our truths are life and liberty, pursuing happiness in our sight.

For not a single one of us can in truth claim or deny that we are something different, that we claim solely, that we’re the “high”. We, collective brethren, who, traversed the sea to come here, true, to wear our values, born in creed, to live an honest life in deed, to show the past our strength is summed in compassion, love, for all bar none, have built this shining star of hope, where others come to work and cope, to use their values truest song, building unity and history long. We are the products of immigrants, we the children of other lands, have come to stand united, compassion dealt with strength in hand.

Liberty crying

So I weep, I mourn this time. I bleed in colors that are not mine. I beg forgiveness to those who trust, and pray our better angels must but rise to mend this broken day, and from it form collective clay to forge anew these values, ours, heal these wretched wounds of scars. I pray we come to rise above, to show compassioned strength in love.

I stand in truth as this!

liberty front

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

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Filed under History, LIberty, Perspective, Poetry

The Circus

Trepidation tempered only by our anxious gait, as scent of cotton candy pulsed within the Oompa’s drifting plait. Down the leading path we walked, skipped and ran in anxious talk, giggling nervous hopes out loud until we spied the circus’ crowd!

Oh my! In exultation’s cry! Oh my!

Enormous posters on display, camels spitting, the grass and clay punished flat ‘neath giant feet of elephants who kindly greet the droves of folks that came from town to see the biggest show go down!

Once beyond the ticket booth and through the hallowed gate of truth, we donned our widest gaping jaws as through the side show alley saw three legged men and thumb sized girls, strong men juggling pigs in pearls, dancing bears and lions caged, pointing, gaping at every stage. Magicians sawing girls in two, sword swallowing flame breathing artists who defied the laws of man and earth, tickling us pink in circus mirth!

But as our curious peeling eyes turned forth to follow distant cries of “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls!”, we spied the Big Top tent in swirls of colored flags and banners pitch, defining now our growing itch!

“The Big Top!” was all that we exclaimed as running toward its giant frame, imbibing in the musky scent exuding from the glowing tent, we swam through ether’s welcome call of dust made sweet through hay and all, in ancient canvas on tree sized rails held by ropes and enormous nails!

Oh my! Oh my! Or sole decry.

Inside this monolithic world parading horses and riders swirled, jugglers riding one wheeled bikes while clowns spat fire ‘pon tiny trikes. We spied some seats down toward the front, and running there like dogs in hunt, the band pronounced the dimming lights as we scooched in for more delights.

Spotlights on the magic ring, while rolling drums announced the scene upon the tall red coated man, top hat and beard, cane in his hand, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to our Circus world!”, on cue the band flared loud, Ring Master standing pleased and proud.

At perilous heights above us all, trapeze artists flew and called, till proudly elephants paraded in, danced and balanced balls and men, then lion tamers with whips and chairs scared us stiff in ogled stares, the jugglers came, the strong man too, accompanied by the band all through.

Then all came out to dance, perform, wowing us within the warm and savory scent that only breathes in circus tents that come and leave through smallest towns midst farmers’ fields, that only for one day reveal a whisper of the circus dream, casting memories, stupendous scenes.

Could it be that time stood still amid the musky scent and thrill that held us captive, glued in seats, with salty foods and colored sweets? For as we laughed our way back home, recalling every moment thrown, we felt we’d lived another time beneath the Big Top’s magic rhyme, and tho’ the spell was slowly cast, the moments spent went quickly past, and back into the day… each of us thinking, “one day we’ll run away, to the Circus!”

Circusa
Courtesy of Circus World Museum, Baraboo, Wisconsin, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus

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Recollection – First Days of School

Bright, this morning’s fatal point,
as down the lane I walk,
edges brilliant, sharply lined,
denying summer’s lazy stalk.

Midst starch and press just oversized,
welcoming spurts of growth,
my awkward steps approach the fields
where friends resound in languished mope.

Through squinting eyes I find the lines
attached to every open door,
searching through the lists of names,
hoping for a little more…
Mrs. Leatherman’s heavy hand,
Mr. Peck’s muppet scowl,
as circling birds in buddied groups,
watching,
hoping,
closing now…

Through scent of bleach, assigned to seats,
giant maps upon the wall,
musky books of history,
handed out through sighs from all.

This day of firsts, in echoed throes,
pretends to know what no one knew,
yet blends in temporal fragment’s points,
each year’s angst recalled and true.

Till now, uniquely drifting,
lost in slipstream’s melting cast,
still drives these August senses blue,
when “back to school” comes too darn fast.

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The Hours Between

Until We Meet Again

The hours in between the seconds freeze a life in coy suspense,
drifting softly heaps of heart and soul across the present tense,
passing in a standstill,
bowing to the better wind,
denying temporal whispers spinning dreams of time and space again…

What of the halted fabric there of which upon the image holds?
Caught tween seconds’ forest plaits along the fence and hint of road.
Expectations,
memories,
race as runners o’er the lea,
leaping rill and brae content in slumber’s memory.

Yet paused in exultation’s drift,
time in purposed parting goes,
unsealing seconds’ casual grasp of all the hours left in tow.
Until the summer’s hush awakes,
before the dark of night sets in,
between the tasking seconds,
until we meet again…

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Brevity

Time slips in sips of passing vibrant life
as age bends to tend this quiet immortal wife,
yet waits escape in poignant water’s cool relief
drawn to shallows hallowed shore, counting out the brief
spent lives, resting on the oars.

photo courtesy of public domain20104146_40_920_1380

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