Archive for August, 2019

We are quickly approaching the 18th anniversary of 9/11. This poem was written in memory of all the first responders and individuals who rushed to Ground Zero on that day and died. And for those who died years later from 9/11 related illnesses. 

Their spirits rise like the smoke in the pit.

Like the wind swept Twin Tower’s ashes on 9/11

Their remains are scattered in graves across the nation.

Their memories impaled forever in loved ones hearts

Like the particles that rained down from above that day.

 

They were there and saved lives

In heroic acts of physical strength and bravery.

They ran to the epicenter like moths to a flame

To save the innocent from the devil’s inferno

Caring not that death could be their reward.

 

Some died in an instant.

Some died saving lives.

Some came out alive

Only to face a slow and painful death later.

 

They never asked to be heroes.

They were only doing their jobs.

They were examples of humanity’s

Greatness in time of tragedy.

 

As the years march on

They are remembered

By loved ones and

A few memorials here and there.

 

The sacred ground that was their battlefield

Was rebuilt with a memorial remembering the Twin Tower’s dead.

The names of these first responders appear nowhere.

But heroes never die…

 

As long as one person remembers them they shall live on,

A flame burning brightly in human hearts.

And those still lingering on the doorstep of death

Will remind us, the living, more strongly than a monument

Chiseled with names, the sacrifices they once made.

 

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Suicide…if you’ve ever known anyone who committed suicide or had to console someone who lost a love one to it, you know how this word will stab you in the heart forever in time.

However, not all suicides are alike in the pain they create. I’m not talking about comparing the note leaving kind to the “done it to get attention” one. What I am referring to is asking the question “Can any good ever come from this terrible act?” I got to thinking about how some suicides, though emotionally painful to those who knew the individual, bring a good in the aftermath. Others just leave anger, hatred toward the person and negative unfinished business.

An example of the latter is Jeffery Epstein’s suicide this past weekend. No one knows why he did it but speculation has he could not tolerate the thought of being locked up in a box for 45 years. Poor guy…now all his victims will never have closure and never be able to see him brought to justice. He refused to suffer the consequences for his heinous acts so now his bad karma will contaminate the survivors of it for their lifetimes.

On the other hand, we have Anthony Bourdain’s suicide. We also don’t know why this kind, intelligent human being who produced such a great TV show as Parts Unknown, decided to take his life. But his good karma follows him even after his death. His life and his adventures have been showcased in the year since his death even to the point where his friends and CNN created an “Anthony Bourdain Day” this past June to honor him. I am also amazed as to where his name pops up. In my recent issue of Cowboys & Indians magazine, as part of the Editor’s Notes, Dana Joseph referenced him as a person who was a one of a kind artist (cook, chef, explorer, the Aug/Sept issue always focuses on artists) and mentions Anthony Bourdain Day. (There is also a “Bourdain Food Trail” in New Jersey based on the episode in Parts Unknown)

We discover that a word like suicide, standing alone can hurt, heal or have two emotional sides. Now I’m waiting, to see if after decades of “mass shootings”, any good can come from those two words. I believe that anything is possible through prayer and action. So Congress, I’m praying that you move your butts on gun control! That could transform those two horrendous words into something positive.

This poem is dedicated to those who died in the shootings in El Paso Texas and Dayton Ohio

She stands in the harbor
A tear in her eye
As bullets in El Paso fly.

She stands in the harbor
Her torch a dim light
As nine are murdered in Dayton that night.

She stands in the harbor
Stoic in her pain
As more bullets from guns rain.

Her cities turned to killing fields
Littered with mass shooting’s dead.
The river in the harbor runs blood red.

Citizen against citizen no value for life.
Such hatred for strangers in her land;
Is her country damned?

She can’t stop the killing, but someone must.
When will this hatred be addressed?
“Give us your hungry, your tired, your oppressed.”