Category: Loss

Where were you on 9/11?


Where were you on 9/11? It’s a common question we ask every year on this day. A tragedy ingrained in our memories and wherever you are in the world you will likely have that recollection of place and time.

Looking Back – Coincidences

There are some coincidences in my recollection of that fateful Tuesday 20 years ago. President George W. Bush was here in Sarasota, Florida, where I live. I remembered this as I was driving to work and passed some protestors on the corner of a main intersection. On that morning he was talking with a class of elementary students at a local school when the first attack happened at 8:46 AM. I was a few miles away working at a job fair. I was on the opening team of a luxury brand hotel that was due to open two months later and we were just getting ready for our second day of interviewing potential staff. Some of us were sitting together in the break area prior to opening the doors. One of the other team members put their head around the door and said “Come and see what’s on the TV. A pilot has just crashed a plane into one of The World Trade Center buildings.” We all looked at each other thinking it must be a small 2 or 4 seater private plane. There is no way a commercial pilot would do that.

That was just the beginning of the awful events that would unfold throughout that day and the following days, weeks and months and years. You know the rest. Sadly, it did not end on that day. Thousands dead and then we went to war with Afghanistan for the past 20 years and even more dead to mourn. To this day there are still people dying from the fallout of 9/11.

We also discovered in the days following 9/11 of another local coincidence. Several of the terrorists who hijacked the planes had been receiving pilot training at a flight school just 20 miles south of Sarasota in Venice, Florida. Why this part of Florida was front and center of that horrific day, I don’t know.

Fast Forward – 20 Years On

This week our local bookstore sent out an email to its subscribers to share a beautiful poem by Billy Collins, a New Yorker, who was the U.S. poet laureate at the time of the 9/11 attacks. A year later, he wrote a poem,The Names, in honor of the victims. He read the poem before a special joint session of Congress held in New York City in 2002, and here he reads it again. I had not heard it before and it is really quite moving. It is so beautifully written and you will likely want to listen to it or read it more than once. The poem is also listed below. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Rest in peace all those whose lives were so tragically taken on 9 /11/2001.

Where were you on 9/11?

The Names by Billy Collins

 Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night.
 A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze,
 And when I saw the silver glaze on the windows,
 I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened,
 Then Baxter and Calabro,
 Davis and Eberling, names falling into place
 As droplets fell through the dark.
 Names printed on the ceiling of the night.
 Names slipping around a watery bend.
 Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream.
 In the morning, I walked out barefoot
 Among thousands of flowers
 Heavy with dew like the eyes of tears,
 And each had a name --
 Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal
 Then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins.
 Names written in the air
 And stitched into the cloth of the day.
 A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox.
 Monogram on a torn shirt,
 I see you spelled out on storefront windows
 And on the bright unfurled awnings of this city.
 I say the syllables as I turn a corner --
 Kelly and Lee,
 Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor.
 When I peer into the woods,
 I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden
 As in a puzzle concocted for children.
 Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash,
 Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton,
 Secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple.
 Names written in the pale sky.
 Names rising in the updraft amid buildings.
 Names silent in stone
 Or cried out behind a door.
 Names blown over the earth and out to sea.
 In the evening -- weakening light, the last swallows.
 A boy on a lake lifts his oars.
 A woman by a window puts a match to a candle,
 And the names are outlined on the rose clouds -
 Vanacore and Wallace,
 (let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound)
 Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z.
 Names etched on the head of a pin.
 One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
 A blue name needled into the skin.
 Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
 The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
 Alphabet of names in a green field.
 Names in the small tracks of birds.
 Names lifted from a hat
 Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
 Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
 So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.

—Billy Collins (c) 2002
*This poem is dedicated to the victims of September 11 and to their survivors.


Stream of Consciousness Saturday - Where

My poem is featured on MasticadoresUSA

I am honored that another of my poems, “Where Do We Go From Here?” is featured today on MasticadoresUSA. Please visit their site to view it and see other fine works from our fellow bloggers. You may also read it here.

Thank you all for your continued support of my poetry. It is much appreciated.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now the love has gone 
and open wounds will not heal
Wanting to move on
but paralyzed limbs
are planted in stone

Neither wanting to make a decision
Who will go first
to choose freedom?
Is that what it will be? Free from each other?
Did we try hard enough, if at all?

Too in love to let it go
and break the tie that binds
Who is fooling who?
The love is missing
What magnetic force is in play?

Is it time to rip off the Band Aid
we plastered on the cuts and bruises
from angry words weaponized?
Time to stop kissing better
those things that won’t ever?

I will mourn each day
Because he is gone
You are now living in his body
But you are not him
You are a shadow of who he once was

You look like him
But you are someone else
A person I don’t know
A stranger in my midst
who sees someone else
when he looks at me

Where do we go from here?


Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Three’s A Crowd

Three’s A Crowd

Our bodies did once fit
Lips to lips
Arms wrapped around
Holding each other in place
Head on shoulder 
Joined at the hip
Step in step
Intertwined
In bliss
Two as one
Until
Another came
Inserting themself
in between the two of us
Resting their head
on your shoulder
Leaving no room for mine
Turning your mind
Stealing your lips
and my bliss
Three is a crowd
An odd number
That will never fit
My body again



Copyright © 2021 Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing
All Rights Reserved

Grace is hosting D’Verse Poets tonight and had prompted us
To write about the body or body parts.

Collateral Damage

Collateral Damage

You bring me flowers
after the rain
Thoughtful gestures
Romantic, sincere
I settle into a cocoon
of forgetfulness
Languishing
in your attention
Misread, phony
Serving a purpose,
but not mine
I cannot be bought
I am here
I am real
I was born at night,
but not last night
Seeing it for what it is
About you and what
money can buy
I am collateral damage
to be written off
Easy come, easy go
without the bat
of your eyelid
I will swallow my pride
one more time
Disappointment
a bitter pill to swallow
but each time
I become more immune
 

Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Mish is hosting D'Verse Poets Open Link Night

Image by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay 

Imprisoned

Imprisoned

Trapped in a prison
of memory 
Alone with
a heart destroyed
Watching hopes
and dreams go
around and round
like a circle
in a spiral 
spinning
downwards
out of control
Impossible
to save them
No desire to
try anymore
Accepting of
the cruel fate that
robbed me of you
Leaving me with
thoughts of what
might have been




Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Grace is hosting Open Link Night at D’Verse Poets tonight 
Bush Boy is hosting today's RDP prompt “Like a circle in a spiral”

Lost at Sea

Lost at Sea

A watery scape
flooded with tears
clinging to
countless branches
 
Salted sores
still stinging
from wounds
inflicted by reason
 
Hope drifting away
on a sea of clouds
Soon lost
forever
 
A fractured heart
sinking heavily
into the fathomless deep
where it will hurt no more
 
 
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Image by Pam Patterson from Pixabay 

Word Prompt
Countless Branches - RDP





Sabotaged

Sabotaged

I see in your
unforgiving eyes
the things that
you will now never know
The love I gave you freely
regardless of your faults
An extended family
that loves without
question or judgement
For you have never known
such a love
and do not recognize it
Instead you fight it,
scream at it
and punish it
until it perishes before
your eyes
Happiness sabotaged
and you reign triumphant
feeling vindicated
for your actions
 
 
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Grace is hosting Open Link Night
at D'Verse Poets

Image by intographics from Pixabay 

How Did I Get Here?

How Did I Get Here?

It was not meant
to be like this
Searching a lifetime
to be with you
What did I miss?

We had both fallen
in the past
Stumbling in flaky blind love
Mistaken but 
finding each other at last

Everything else
was a dress rehearsal
For what was to be
our rhapsody
Never expecting a reversal

We learned our lessons well
or so I thought
only to be derailed
A love and life casualty 
and all the pain it brought

How did I get here
in this too familiar place?
Alone and heartbroken
back again
at the start of the race


Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©


OctPoWriMo - How Did I Get Here?
FOWC - Derail
RDP - Flaky
WotD - Rhapsody

Image by melancholiaphotography from Pixabay 

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

I cry a thousand tears
Into the night
My heart as heavy
as the darkness
The sadness
of losing your love
brings such sorrow 
leaving the sky starless
 
Like a death 
I must mourn
Grief overwhelms
and I see no escape
The hurt is intolerable
but deep down I know
in time there will
be a new landscape
 
With tomorrow comes
morning light
and clearing of clouds
Signaling expectation
The canvas is blank
White and pristine 
waiting for my
new coloration
 
 
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

OctPoWriMo - Today we are prompted by the word 'White'
and what it means to us.

Image by ziggy2012 from Pixabay 

The Great Divide

The Great Divide

The schism between us
too divisive to scale
What was once fertile land
now a ravine with unnavigable
waters running through a vale
 
How unlikely could this be?
No warning signs given
But you the instigator
kept it close to your chest
It was as if you were driven
 
You take no prisoners
The war has been waged
Isolate and destroy
Fight to the death
Your furor enraged
 
 
 
Christine Bolton - Poetry for Healing ©

Word Prompts

Unlikely - WotD
Schism - RDP
Could - Daily Addictions
Instigate - FOWC

Image by David Mark from Pixabay 
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