The September 11th Epic Poem was originally written between June of 2008 and April of 2010. It is 2,000 lines long and has 1,498 rhyming pairs. Below is a link to a review by another website.
“The September 11th Epic Poem” Is a Must Read by Dr. Watchman
The September 11th Epic Poem
By Daniel Schilling © 2010 all rights reservedPROLOGUE: (The early Anniversaries) In mid-September ev’ry year When corn is six feet tall, The days of summer seem secure Against the threat of fall. But in the end the snows descend From cloudy winter skies; And lakes will freeze when all the trees Are stripped of their supplies. At least for now there is no plow that’s tearing up the land: The fruits of Earth complete their birth, Received from God’s own hand. The farmers dare to gladly share With all the neighborhood; For now at last their fears have passed That harvest won’t be good. But while we wait we meditate On mem’ries from the past; Our minds recall the day we all Were altered by the blast. That date, well known, is etched in stone, On far too many tombs; And ev’ry year these thoughts draw near When mid-September looms. But now’s the time to sip the lime And bask in summer’s breath. It seems so rude when thoughts intrude Reminding us of death. We’d rather not give half a thought To all that has been done, For fear that this might make us miss The final days of sun. In days like these before the freeze The human heart is full. The plants we reap will help us keep Revival in our soul. We’ll shuck the corn some breezy morn And split the shares in crates; And when we cease, we’ll taste the peace That fam’ly work creates. And later on when daylight’s gone We’ll gather once again, And take the chance to laugh and dance With fam’ly, folk, and friends. We’ll light the wood that smells so good, With tinder crisp and dry; And all the sparks will swim like sharks In oceans of the sky. But is it right to joke all night Forgetting what we’ve learned? When widows weep and still can’t sleep For husbands crushed or burned? We’ll pause, perhaps, amidst some lapse, And say a private prayer; And wish the best for those depressed For someone slaughtered there. We all mean well; it’s hard to tell The thing to do these days. We each reflect with great respect, But in our diff’rent ways. Now some will preach and make a speech, Or talk about the war; While others strive to live their lives The way they were before. The experts say that dreadful day Is better left behind. They have not found a single ground To keep it on the mind. It’s not correct to introspect The things you thought and did, And most of all there is no call, To tell them to your kid. But in our hearts our bolder parts Are telling us they’re wrong; That those who died should live in pride, Enshrined in endless song. They try to keep our souls asleep Inside a sterile fence, But in the end we can’t pretend It’s still September Tenth. CHAPTER ONE (The Way It All Began) The thunder fell that night in hell; The Devil roused his mates. The demon hosts and ancient ghosts Came storming through her gates. The Specter Death released his breath That night by future graves; And killers sworn to die next morn’ Embraced the sleep of slaves. In strippers’ clubs and topless pubs These phonies had been seen. There’s been reports of sordid sports Their culture calls obscene. They bore a grudge and came to judge The way our women dress; But when they stayed they likewise paid To view some naked flesh. At dawn’s first light they caught their flights With lust beneath their eyes. It gave them pride to help decide Which person lives or dies. Each smiling face that took its place Was added to the tray, Of sumptuous pies that helped comprise This killing-feast buffet. The sun was bright, the wind was slight, As planes were taking off. The flight control was packed and full, With many jets aloft. A scattered shroud of fog and cloud Was present in the west; But otherwise the spacious skies Were showing off their best. The pilots strained to raise their planes To higher altitudes, Where jets could cruise while patrons snoozed For lengthy interludes. A stewardess took first requests For omelets, rolls, and fruits; While businessmen took time to tend The neckties on their suits. As engines roared the crews ignored A group of scattered youths, Whose nervous poise and lack of noise Provided subtle clues. The sat alone with eyes of stone, Like rejects at a prom; Or feeble grooms, when marriage looms, Who’d rather stay with mom. Their throats felt weak; they could not speak, Apart from nods and sighs. No friendly taunts nor chatty aunts Could garner long replies. They must not reach in thought or speech To others in that throng, Lest intercourse would breed remorse And tell them they were wrong. They kept their spots with tortured thoughts Amongst their hated foes. A deed this great seemed more like fate, Than something that they chose. They closed their brains as they’d been trained, To keep their feelings blind; For fear they might be damned on site, If now they’d change their mind. The airplane lurched but still they perched: Impatient and alert. But one had gone inside the john, To peel back his shirt. He took some clay, the theories say, And shaped the edge just right; And stripped it back to build a pack That looked like dynamite. His friends outside, though petrified, Were set for what was next. They’d yell out loud to scare the crowd, And snap the pilots’ necks. They held their breath and dreamed of death, As throats began to burn; But through their fear they now could hear The door begin to turn. They grabbed their knives and cursed their lives, By spelling out their choice. The fiends below who watched the show Had reasons to rejoice. Their lairs were filled with men who killed To pay some groundless score; And down in hell, if things went well, They’d soon have nineteen more. While quoting psalms they showed the bombs, To keep the crowd at bay. As pilots died they frankly lied About their plans that day. Their speech was curt: “You won’t be hurt— Now shut up and behave.” But those they cursed could face the worst; More strong, more blest, more brave. As judgment loomed the planes were doomed, But God stood back and hid. And folks today still often say They don’t know why He did. The timid men repeat again: “You have to keep your faith.” While others dare to now declare That God is just a wraith. Then all those jets like gambler’s bets Exploded in debris. But one did not achieve the spot They chose initially. For on this flight there was a fight With luggage, bags, and fists. And while it pitched the plane was ditched By stubborn terrorists. We don’t know why they chose to die; But in some sense we do. We all have sinned when reason thinned; We’re all insurgents too. We all have hate; we’re all ingrate, With egos out our ears; When hope’s renounced, our love gets trounced, By pressure from our peers. CHAPTER TWO (New York City) As Tuesday dawned a nation yawned And faced a day of sweat. Their human hearts had metal parts With Lincoln’s silhouette. A penny made is int’rest paid To mortgage back your dreams, But ev’ry seed that’s sown in greed Will leave by other means. In old New York a day of work Was starting to unfold. The younger pants came in advance To out compete the old. But no one knew as daylight grew That death was on the slot; That vapor lanes from giant planes Were closing on their spot. On crowded streets the yellow fleets Were fighting for their turns. And homeless folks cast scornful jokes At bleary-eyed interns. The drivers cussed while taxis bussed Their loads of human freight, As endless plights of crimson lights Were forcing them to wait. But as they stood the neighborhood Was startled by a sound, That rattled glass and spooked a mass Of pigeons on the ground. While drivers swerved their eyes observed The towers on the mall: For as they steered a jet appeared And rammed into the wall. “Oh holy shit, the tower’s hit!” The watchers all exclaimed. Bewildered eyes surveyed the skies For answers unexplained. The people froze, but voices rose, Astonished, scared, and awed; The very same who swore in vain Invoked the name of God. The time and space seemed stuck in place Upon those sacred halls. The plane was drowned without a sound In glass and steel walls. The scene was bright as waves of light Confirmed their greatest fears. As moments passed, the noisy blast Abruptly reached their ears. For many blocks the aftershocks Were rippling face to face. And talks were struck to reconstruct The scene that just took place. The crowd outcropped and traffic stopped As pedals hit the floors; And all around you heard the sound As drivers opened doors. “My God, the sight; my brother’s plight!” yelled someone with his head. The tower burned and people yearned To know if friends were dead. For those come down from out of town It almost made them ill, And those who cried for kin inside Could barely look at will. As moments passed the humans massed In groups of four or five. They did not care who else was there, Just glad to be alive. The greater creed of instant need Compelled them to be friends, Whose goings through became the glue That joined unlikely ends. They shared their hugs and friendly shrugs When words could not express The prayers they made for meager aid To fight their helplessness. The tower’s rise above their eyes Became a hellish lens, When human souls in bitter throes Jumped screaming to their ends. With fearful awe at what they saw The watchers swore and —–. Their focus now became on how Survivors could be saved. As musings grew on what to do They heard a welcome noise: The crimson fleets were flooding streets With hook and ladder boys. Their sirens blared to tell the scared That help was getting through. They came in force to face the worst; Aware what they must do. With boots well-shined, their rigs on time, They bounced along the route; And rushed to quell the burning hell, While most were rushing out. No time to lose their engines cruised Down busy boulevards. Past stores, and malls, and public halls, And sometimes urban yards. The quickest path to face the wrath Was just the path they took. They made a race to reach the place The tower burned and shook. Above their eyes the cobalt skies Were masked in smoke and flame. The men could taste the need for haste The closer that they came. They too, could see, the hot debris Lay strewn around nearby, And heard the thumps when victims jumped From ninety stories high. With lengthy strides they rushed inside, Afraid they’d do no good. But nonetheless they did their best To save the ones they could. We wonder why they had to die For some beyond their aid, But very few who made it through Are sorry that they stayed. CHAPTER THREE (Response to the North Tower) A fireman will make a stand For victims all alone. When hope is bleak he’ll help the weak Left stranded on their own. He does not care what skin you wear Before he makes that dive. The vital fact, though white or black, Is that you’re still alive. As units merged the chiefs converged To start the rescue ops. The fire crews got instant news From port and city cops. The eager teams went up in streams Like giant arthropods. With fears repressed they led the quest Despite the chilling odds. They climbed each stair with tanks of air, But some were nagged by doubt. The jet that crashed had also smashed The elevators out. They faced a deed that might exceed An athlete in his prime: The massive chore could take them more Than eighty minute’s climb. As minutes flew the numbers grew Of those who joined the hike. While men prepared their leaders blared The orders through the mikes. The chaos reigned but men were trained To take it all in stride; They didn’t know yet another jet Was bearing down outside. The stairs were packed with people racked by fears of ev’ry kind. The most seemed dazed as if some haze Had left them feeling blind. The urgent need they felt for speed Allowed them to descend. They all perceived they must achieve, The tower’s safer end. As numbers swelled the men compelled The people to stay calm. Their very sight relieved their plight And filled their hearts with balm. The fighters told the weak and old To wait upon the stair, For young and strong to come along And take them in their care. The tensions eased as hope increased and people kept their place. It was not long before the throng Had reached the tower’s base. They fled the stairs in groups and pairs Above the atrium; From where they left, confused, bereft, They saw more fighters come. With will to win the trucks came in From places far away. The men were keen to join the team And help their friends that day. But as they walked around the block They heard the people yell: For on the street that held their feet Another shadow fell. This second plane had quickly gained Momentum from its fall. With better aim it sought to maim A lower piece of wall. The masses froze as shadows rose, And swallowed up the sun— They yelled and rasped, but as they gasped, The deed was quickly done. A blazing tide a village wide Rolled out into the skies. Anouncers seen on TV screen Could not believe their eyes. The time of day seemed swept away As people changed their view; While moments lapsed our world collapsed And birthed itself anew. We knew at once this second punch Was something to be feared. The déjà vu we all went through Was clearly engineered. It was no joke: the source of smoke Had doubled from before. The stinging fact we’d been attacked, We now could not ignore. We knew right then that other men Had planned to have us killed. But could this plot have not been stopped If God had only willed? Was it perhaps, some moral lapse, That made us lose the twins? Had we received, as some believed, A judgment for our sins? But if that’s true, then how can you Account for those who died? The tender son who hurt no one— The meek, expectant bride? And then what’s more, each noble score, Who tried to save the day: Could these recruits be substitutes For those who got away? These thoughts combined in ev’ry mind As watchers scanned the skies. These doubts were asked as buildings basked In wreaths of sure demise. The heart went faint who tried to paint A picture of the fate, Of those who tried to stem the tide Before it was too late. Into the throes with heavy clothes Those firefighters walked. They made no press to second-guess Where others would have balked. To stop and think when at the brink Could cost them victims’ lives. They made a prayer that God would spare The grieving of their wives. CHAPTER FOUR (Hopeless Predicaments) Our hearts stood still as human will Received that second blow. The morning sun seemed shocked and stunned By what occurred below. The jaws were dropped by people stopped On streets already packed; With little clue what else to do, If other planes attacked. To know despair like many there Can drive a mind insane. Each gray-haired vet began to sweat, Who’d seen the second plane. The city’s best would face a test Like none they’d ever known. In short supply they had to try To start a second zone. Their eyes seemed quenched, their guts were wrenched, As more of them came in. Their heartstrings broke to see the smoke Engulf the second twin. Their minds reached out to those in doubt Above each tower’s wound; And some surmised the ones alive Already might be doomed. The light of hope is hard to grope By someone badly trapped, When ev’ry route to get you out Is quickly, soundly, scrapped. When voices cease, and doubts increase, And all your friends have died; You make a wish that God exists, To save you from inside. Above the breach the towers each Were filled with troubled souls. Whose bodies faced a hopeless case That left them few controls. They thought they might escape by flight, If some could reach the roof; Unless the cloak produced by smoke Was helicopter-proof. In fractured streams they joined as teams To help their injured friends. They clenched their teeth and fought the grief, Yet feared it was the end. The young interns took frequent turns To mitigate their plight. With cheerful tact they claimed, in fact, They’d all get home alright. But wishful trust could not adjust The substance of their fate. And ev’ry scheme their minds could dream, They saw evaporate. We still don’t know what size of flow In panic, upwards flocked. But this we do: that none got through, Since all the doors were locked. The depths of scare they had to bear My heart cannot expound. And if it could I never would Attempt to write it down. These lines were made to serve as aid For intellectual gain, But in the end I don’t pretend To understand their pain. I was not there to watch them stare Destruction in the eyes, Or ask the dead what filled their head When life lost its disguise. But nonetheless I’ll try to guess The questions that they met, So folks like you can think them through With all the time you get. These ones who died deserve our pride At least for what they bore. The lists of names are halls of fame For this and so much more. And that is why I’m sworn to try To pay the most respect. You can be sure I won’t endure To see their mem’ries wrecked. I’ll paint at times throughout these rhymes A shadow of these folks, Whose hope gave way that awful day When fraught with dreadful yokes. I don’t imply their strength was shy, Or claim it’s wrong to flee: I’d hate to think how much I’d shrink If that poor guy was me. My point instead from why they fled Is that their souls were wise. It’s common sense to jump the fence That holds our sure demise. Our souls have points at which the joints Will crumble down and break. The world is rife with things in life That none of us could take. We know so well that life’s a hell, And living’s wracked with pain. Our time on Earth seems hardly worth The mediocre gain. Since time began the hurt of man Has plagued this giant ball, And some suggest we nuke the rest To quickly end it all. CHAPTER FIVE (An Intermission) As fires raged a calmer stage Was acted on that day. A million bees were flooding trees Some many leagues away. The woods and streams were clothed in greens On ground, and rock, and branch; As breezes played near cities made By birds and mice and ants. The scattered rills on many hills Were swathed in giant oaks. But hollow chunks appeared where trunks Were felled by light’ning strokes. In other spots with even lots A motor shook the ground. The woods complained as humans came To chop the forest down. The lumberjacks made swift attacks On trees with gnarly knobs. Though work was rough it paid enough Compared with other jobs. They cut the logs with sharpened cogs Then bundled all the posts, Then paid a charge to use a barge To ship them down the coast. These ships would ride the inland tide And harbor at some bay, Where flatbed trucks like rows of ducks Would haul their loads away. The conquered trees could taste the breeze Before the final kill. A hired crew would feed them to A hungry paper mill. Then once they’re done the semis come To take them to the store. Their rehashed guts give paper cuts That make your fingers sore. The spotless sheets make good receipts Or pages in a book. They’re also used to print the news Where stock investors look. In old New York these pages work As hard as any drudge. They never prate or come in late; They never hold a grudge. They do not mind to work inside An office full of drones; Though scores each day are tossed away, Replaced by perfect clones. Though used like dirt, the page exerts The power to impress. The business-wise will maximize The paper’s usefulness. The lazy lout with no hand-out Will only get a frown. It does not pay to even say Unless it’s written down. The things we print on special tint We claim as cold hard facts: Like drinking bans or building plans Or profit-sharing pacts. But such receipts are strong deceits For victims with no clue; We think that when we use a pen It makes our dreams come true. The written page has been the stage Where fools scribble proofs. What might look right in black and white Is often made by goofs. So many books are made by crooks I’m forced to cast this stone, And take a chance this daring stance Invalidates my own. The words we sow are meant to show The truth we wish to see. We use each fact with subtle tact To prove what cannot be. Our mental halls have paper walls Around their sacred vaults, That form a maze to block the ways Our logic is at fault. But paper prints cannot convince The universe to change: These crumpled wads are phony gods Invented by our brains. Since days of yore our creeds and lore Have changed from day to day; Yet with contempt we each attempt To have the final say. These paper plans escaped our hands That mid-September morn, When buoyant dreams were pierced by screams That gave us much to learn. Each human crop from start to stop Itself, must learn this truth: That private fate will devastate The paper dreams of youth. The center stood the best it could As heat grew more and more. The steel frames were soaked in flames That thawed their metal core. But while we watched our sight was blotched With paper by the reams: The outward flow as thick as snow Immersed the sky in streams. It seemed so strange to watch them range Across the cobalt sky. With movements soft they flew aloft Where pigeons loved to fly. On natures’ breath they fled the death And lazily escaped, While robed in grief and disbelief The burning towers gaped. CHAPTER SIX (The Collapse of the South Tower) As papers flew the fires grew, While hopes of all grew dim. And though they tried we knew inside The rescue plans were slim. The circumstance reduced the chance The fighters might get through. Perhaps with pluck and lots of luck They still could save a few. But those up high amidst the sky Were saddled with their doubts. They looked for cheer despite their fear And hoped they’d soon get out. Their joints felt weak, they tried to speak, But many mouths were mum. As moments fled they felt the dread Of what was still to come. I’m so perplexed by what comes next I find it hard to write. I’m even scared I’m not prepared To illustrate their plight. It takes, I think, a private link To fully comprehend, The total cost of what was lost When hundreds met their end. A sense of doom began to loom More thickly then before. The occupants all got a sense Of terror at the door. They felt alone with hearts of stone, And stomachs sick with gall; And in their grief and disbelief They felt their tower fall. They felt a sway as walls gave way And plaster crumbled first. Then ceilings caved as columns waved And pipes and fixtures burst. They heard the crunch as once by once The tower fell by floor, And hopes were nixed when noises mixed To form a dreadful roar. The folks whose feet were in the street Broke out in horrid cries. Despite the scenes their eyes had seen, It still came by surprise. The nervous crowd who watched out loud The harsh yet distant fear, So quickly felt their feelings melt As pain and death rushed near. The tower caved as watchers raved And strength was turned to dust. The great collapse occurred in snaps That ground it up like rust. The people stared, still unprepared To see that thing erode: It just seemed fake to watch it break, And topple and implode. To those nearby it seemed the sky Itself had fallen down. The boiling mist first clenched its fist, Then slammed it on the ground. A torrid gust of brick and dust Released a deadly spray; Whose random shots at human clots Blew many folks away. The dreadful sound was all around As masses broke in fear. They dropped their bags and ran like stags When hunting time is near. Behind their backs the streets turned black, As smoke came bulging fast. The fearsome cloud immersed the crowd, And covered them at last. The risk of death increased its breadth From dream to living threat. And some were caught who often thought Their time could not come yet. These friends and kin who perished in That single, deadly, swipe; Seemed unprepared for what they fared, Like fruit that’s not yet ripe. Their lives, so young, to which they clung, Shone bright, yet unfulfilled. It seems so odd a loving God Would let them all be killed. The pain and care they had to bear Is hard to understand; But more than this, the uselessness Of future deeds they’d planned. For some, though poor, still gave out more Than all the wealth they kept. And some were rich who served a niche By paying patients’ debts. Had God gone mad who killed the bad Along with all the good? What sage today can really say His ways are understood? These ones he picked to die so quick Deserve our great respect. Their humble lives epitomize The best of either sex. They helped us fight both day and night, Our anger, lust, and greed. In days like these when doubts increase They’re just the kind we need. For you who think we’re on the brink, Can learn from those who fell: You modernists who dare insist There’s nothing here but hell. If nine of ten are greedy men Who never will repent, Then what will you attribute to The other ten percent? Are they all sick, or dumb, or thick, Who sometimes do what’s right? Perhaps you’ll find the fact you’re blind Is why you see no light. If still you claim we’re all the same You really must be dense: A single deed that’s not from greed, Destroys your best defense. CHAPTER SEVEN (The Innocent Dead) The autumn sun became undone As all the air grew thick. And ev’ry chest became compressed From breathing powdered brick. The people ran without command: They had no time to think. Their bundled nerves had swift reserves That pulled them from the brink. But many souls in wretched throes Had nowhere they could flee. Their human veins were only stains Beneath the thick debris. Each smoking street seemed incomplete In minds of grieving kin, Where empty space usurped the place Survivors should have been. The cluttered roads were filled with loads Of rubbish piled high. The fire-trucks were badly stuck In gravel thigh to thigh. The air was thinned by stale wind Created by the fall. Survivors saw the vapor thaw That once engulfed them all. The growing sight seemed stark as night In contrast to before. The smoking stacks brought mem’ries back Of bombings from a war. The twisted shell produced a spell, Protruding bent and maimed; But by it’s side with waning pride A tower still remained . It stood so strong, yet not for long: We knew its time was brief. We witnessed lots of cam’ra shots Absorbed in rage and grief. The city’s pet and silhouette Would shortly fall away. It seemed so strange these things could change In under half a day. We cursed and swore and promised war, For war had been declared. They sent their men to kill our friends And no one had been spared. The things they did to little kids Who happened in their path, Forced God above to show his love By showing them His wrath. But through their deeds they sowed some seeds Upon that fertile land, That had no part in what their hearts So wickedly had planned. For God with care had long prepared To ease the souls who roamed. And on that day he found a way To bring some children home. He changed defeat to joy complete By letting many die. And watched them rise with purer eyes Beyond the brightest sky. He called them fast to see at last The better land he made, And as they flew desires grew To watch their planet fade. Beneath the heap these martyred sheep Had left their flesh and bone. Instead of pain they now could claim A place to call their own. And though their fates would cause their mates To live their lives forlorn, The ones deceased were now released From hate and hurt and scorn They knew no more the constant war That ev’ry human fights, Or all the dross that made them toss On guilty, sleepless, nights. They went to bed to face the dead With eyes and feelings blind, But when they woke the shadows broke And left their fears behind. They found themselves in groups of twelves With names and ranks prepared. With jobs and tasks; despite their pasts, Forgiven, loved, and spared. With pain removed and minds improved They basked in what they felt: The frosts of Earth that froze their worth At last began to melt. CHAPTER EIGHT (Actions and Consequences) When life is here we live in fear Afraid that we will die, But when we’re dead and life is fled We’re left to wonder why— We lived with fears and wasted years In never-ending doubt, And never took the time to look And find our futures out. This truth is worst for humans forced To spend their deaths in hell, But even they who get away Don’t always do it well. You’d think the youths who knew the truths Would learn before they’re old, That ev’ry snore will cost them more Than pots of bullion gold. If you believed the Maker grieved Each time you did a sin, Then would you not give half a thought To stifling lusts within? If deeds of worth you did on Earth Would help the second you, Could you at least before you’ve ceased Find something good to do? Now many say there is no way The Christian God exists, And that is why they live and die For stuffing mouths and fists. But others here will claim He’s near And call Him by His name, But when you watch the lives they botch You see them act the same. Now some of these are refugees With half-way fears of hell. From where they stand they have no plan For living very well. I dare suspect the lives they’ve wrecked Are witness to the fact, That though they try to hide the lie, They’ve never joined the pact. The lives they lead are full of greed Though simple they may be. The times they spend display a trend Of living pointlessly. And though they’ve missed they still insist That God controls their lives, But those they tell they’re doing well Need only ask their wives. They waste away their lives of clay When diamonds should be there. Whose polished grace reflects through space The colors in the air. The Christian life should not be rife With mutant lusts and needs, But when it’s true it sparkles through With truly selfless deeds. The human soul is dark as coal With greed and vice at length. Although it longs to right its wrongs, It somehow lacks the strength. But those who vowed they’ve been endowed With power from above; Should represent, with drive unbent, God’s mercy, peace, and love. For through their eyes they’ve seen the lies Of money, sex, and fame. For they as well had dreams of hell While struggling blind and lame. But when their fate became too great To face in flesh alone, They hearts were saved from what they craved By power not their own. Our God will help the needy whelp Who cannot help himself. Who’s learned he must decline to trust The trophies on his shelf. The soul who knows what bitter throes His moral life is in, Will take the knee and ask that He Will save him from his sin. For heaven’s world cannot be filled With proud and pompous folks, Who claim they’re in because their sin Is less than common blokes. They love to dine and sip their wine Assured they’re doing well; But God is just who knows he must Release them into hell. But those instead among the dead Who rise to heaven’s gate, Are they who lunged and took the plunge Aware they must not wait. The horrid crimes they did at times Are paid and now ignored; But what they do from now on through Results in their reward. CHAPTER NINE (The Power of False Gods) In ancient times when human minds Were trapped in lies and fear, It seemed to men who lived back then The gods were always near. They’d send us jolts of thunderbolts To break apart the rocks, And when they breathed the valleys heaved In seismic aftershocks. The pagan dream produced a scheme We now would call absurd: The bloody price of sacrifice By sense of guilt incurred. The human flesh was slaughtered fresh To idols on the crags. The price was dear to reach their ears Without the threat of plagues. Now most today will quickly say Those fools were deceived. To claim a rock can think or talk Is obviously naïve. We’ve learned by now it’s dumb to bow To logs once chopped by axe; These “gods” were carved by people starved For scientific facts. We shake our head and ask what led The ancients to devise, Outlandish rites of imps and sprites Unseen by human eyes. We understand that mortal man Needs hope when truth is sparse, But why consult some hare-brained cult That’s obviously a farce? The answer here is hate and fear Had bound their souls like chains. The truth they chose had been imposed Upon imprisoned brains. The siren song of gods more strong Than all the other brands, Was just enough when times were tough To fill their grasping hands. The ancient priests who prayed to beasts Would make outrageous claims. These out-right frauds would make up gods And give them human names. They’d find a king to which to cling, Who’d give them royal funds; To guarantee with certainty His army always won. Most certainly by now we see The problem this creates, When private creeds address the needs Of independent states. The weak and poor are sent to war, While monarchs hang aloof; And forced to trust some sacred bust Without a shred of proof. If God exists he must be miffed When humans use his name, To tell a lie and multiply Their private wealth and fame. Religious frauds who say the gods Will heed their ev’ry call, Had better pray both night and day There is no God at all. If God resolved to get involved From on His mighty throne, He wouldn’t pick some selfish hick And talk to him alone; He’d choose to send all kinds of men From many lands and times, And punish them more harshly when They dare commit a crime. A godly priest—I’d think at least— Is one who can suppress: Myopic thrills and selfish frills Desired by the flesh. He lives his life avoiding strife, Yet shares in others’ plights; And puts the stress on righteousness, but not his private rights. But all the rest pursue a quest Of power and control. The god they serve in pious verve Is just their selfish soul. They way they vent their true intent Is really not complex: They show their cards by grasping hard For money, fame, or sex. They grab the youth who search for truth And promise them the world, And plant a rage at such an age That gets their pupils killed. They tell their crew they have to do The will of God who reigns, But once they’re cowed they’re not allowed To even use their brains. But God is love who will not shove The weak and poor away. These ones so dear can surely hear The things He has to say. When faith is true the light comes through And floods the needy mind, But those who play to make them stray Have something else to find. CHAPTER TEN (The Natural Limitations of Science) I’ve heard it said the human head Is far more dense than gold, And twice as slow as lava flow When magma’s turning cold. We’re quick to see stupidity That other folks endorse, But on our own we’re often prone To do it ten times worse. We love to mock the load of crock The ancient priests employed, To help maintain the steady gain Their cunning ilk enjoyed. But as we sneer at faults made clear Through centuries of doubt, We make the same through what we claim Our brains have figured out. We’ve learned with tact to find out fact By starting out from scratch, By throwing out the things in doubt Until our theories match. But where we err is when we dare To stupidly insist, That things our nerves cannot observe Do therefore not exist. As knowledge grows our science shows That truth can now by found. But only when it’s used by men Who stay within its bounds. We must not let ourselves forget The limits at its core, Or ever cook a science book To give us something more. For some will boast, who’ve learned the most, In what they’ve seen or touched. But nonetheless they must confess, They do not know that much. The things they’ve learned were slowly earned Through methods well-controlled, Yet still right now they don’t know how To cure the common cold. So how can they explain the way The universe was made? Who need to see a recipe To mix their lemonade? They must forget they owe a debt To thinkers gone before, Without whose brains they’d still be trained To say their prayers to Thor. They claim to gauge the very age Of ev’ry single star, By placing hopes in telescopes That only see so far. To see these views they have to use A single line of sight; Which won’t enhance the tiny chance Their theories could be right. And yet they think we’re on the brink Of solving all that’s true, And if we’re tough and work enough, There’s nothing we can’t do. This buoyant claim is quite insane In light of all we know, Since nature draws restrictive laws That say how far we’ll go. That’s not to say there is no ray Of truth that science brings. To some degree it’s helped to free Our minds from harmful things. And with that said I’ll go ahead And give it ample praise: An honest search is always worth The dividends it pays. But candid quests through man-made tests Will fail to attain, The sum of all we like to call The physical domain. And more than that we wonder at A world beyond our reach, With so much more we must explore That math can never teach. Our minds possess a hungriness For something more complete, Than bread and milk and beds of silk And leather for our feet. We need to try before we die To get our hopes resolved; But truth is masked by questions asked That science cannot solve. We need to know before we go What happens in the end: If all, or none, or certain ones Will someday live again. Should nature’s laws become the cause Of all the things we do? Or will the Lord, himself, reward The friend who’s kind and true? For centuries we’ve tried to tease The answer out in parts, Convinced some day we’d find a way By virtue of our smarts. But when in time we could not find The answer with our head; We sulked and hedged, and then alleged, That God was clearly dead. If God exists he might persist In telling us himself. But on our own it can’t be known, Despite how hard we delve. If there’s a chance our Maker grants A path to truth and grace, We owe our sons and everyone’s To see if that’s the case. But finding balms to cure our qualms Is hard for modern eyes. The sacred texts of all the sects Are seen as earnest lies. We cope with grief and disbelief While hurtling towards death. One hundred years of growing fears Have left us out of breath. CHAPTER 11 (The 20th century) Some years ago in times of woe When wars were being fought, A star appeared, whom most revered, And told us what he thought. This poet’s name is wreathed in fame In both the hemispheres, Who wrote about the inner drought That bathed our world with tears. The planet’s plight was bad despite Our scientific gain. It seemed to those who watched its throes The world had gone insane. When faith and trust were in the dust And money reigned supreme, The hopes of some had now become A nightmare of a dream. They thought at last with all that passed The church had been disproved. Which left, disrobed, a mournful globe, Where God no longer moved. Restraints were lost at such a cost That all became annoyed. It cast a hex on even sex ‘Till nothing was enjoyed. The sages wept as poets kept Their logs of misery, While girls were forced and dads coerced Through painful liberty. The final cords that bound the hordes From passion’s strongest gusts, Were torn apart so human hearts Could writhe in burning lusts. As feelings tossed respect was lost For things proclaimed as “old;” With so much haste they left in place A single moral code. It used to be that sanctity Of other folks was king, Until the law of what you saw Allowed you anything. It now was wrong to keep the throng From taking what they want. The rest were told they must not scold What others loved to flaunt. “Just close your trap and stop your flap, ‘Cuz no one’s getting hurt!” But that excuse is just a ruse To get beneath the skirt. The time had come to pay the sum For years of vagrant hopes. They cast their dice for paradise Upon a slipp’ry slope. With feet of lead that had no tread They caved their culture’s floor; ‘Til things took place that cracked the base, Which time could not restore. With selfish pride they justified What once was named as sin. And built new doors by endless scores To let more pleasures in. But all their sense could never quench Their wish to have it all: They had no clue what houses do When stripped of all their wall! The times got tough and men got gruff As sin refused their cure. Throughout the West a horrid test Was starting to appear. Though badly harmed, the allies armed To fight a second war; As Nazis blitzed the battle pitched More deadly than before Grenades and guns by metric tons Were shipped across the sea. As things got worse our land was forced To face the enemy. The hot napalm and atom bomb Were used to good effect, But long before we won the war We lost our self-respect. Survivors cracked but most came back To some-what happy homes. With Europe burned the scribes returned To write their gloomy poems. Another star had gone too far Who held our nation’s pride; He took the stage while battle raged To serve the other side. This native son had truly done What some could not expound. They dragged him back to face the flack: That traitor Ezra Pound. The special court was out of sorts And said he was insane, But this small fact did not impact His literary reign. Our poets quote the lines he wrote While standing on the brink, And still today they frame the way Our scribes are taught to think. His groupies still will say his ill Was brains and not his heart; They’ve not decried the Jews who died While Ezra was so smart. I’m quite enraged they call him sage: The leader of his class. I don’t know why our teachers try To give this man a pass. The simple fact they have his back When praises should be nixed; Supports my poke that what’s been broke Has never yet been fixed. They still refuse to face the news That modernism reeks. Their surge, once bold, has grown so old, It’s turned them into freaks. They’ll throw a fit but won’t admit The things their writings lack; For now their sin has trapped them in A one-way cul-de-sac. CHAPTER 12 (The Cultural Collapse) Since we’ve been born we’ve had to learn That life is just a taunt. We never seem to have the means To get the things we want. It seems instead, to get ahead, You have to break some trust; When stripping bare the bonds of care You listen to your lusts. Since you were young this thought has clung Like magnets to a ‘fridge, Enticing you to see the view That’s just beyond the ridge. But if you make this great mistake Your world will fall apart, Producing pain as if a plane Has crashed into your heart. You know by now this inner call Is empty at its core. Experience will leave a sense Of always wanting more. Each sin you do will cause you to Commit another one, Despite the fact each selfish act Was really not that fun. That’s why we try to struggle by With doing good as well, But still repeat each ugly feat Our lips will never tell. We think we should project the good Our hands will never do: So kids who grope for parents’ hope Will never have a clue. And thus we teach our young to reach For fruit we’ve never grasped, With hopes that by the time we die Our sins will not be passed. Yet more than not this noble plot Will fail in its bid; Since most will choose to quickly lose, The way their parents did. They’ll nod with grins upon their chins And claim they understand, That when the urge begins to surge They must restrain their hand. They’ll say we’re wise with honest eyes That gleam like virgin snow, But with that said they’ll go to bed With girls they hardly know. The truth will burn when first we’ve learned What stupid things they’ve done. But once we’ve wept we must accept Our daughters and our sons. And as they age we’ll lose our rage And give them room to roam; Content to trust, that they, like us, At last will find a home. For how can Dad be very mad Who once did lots of pot? Can it be fair to make them bear A load that he could not? For we, in spite, turned out all right, When love began to grow; So these ones, too, might make it through, If we just let them go. But still we bleed to watch them feed With lack of self-control, The same deceit that help defeat The light inside our soul. Why must they waste with careless haste Their lives as if they’re dirt, When they could use their gift of youth To help and not to hurt? But they will sob it’s not their job To live a life that’s charmed. How dare we claim that they’re to blame, If someone else is harmed? It seems less bad to live a tad With pleasure as their guide, Once they’ve explained that life restrained Is just like suicide. For they will say no single way Is better than the rest. The golden law in all its awe Is really not the best. They’ll say we’ve built a sense of guilt Through artificial wit; For modern lore cannot ignore Survival of the fit. For Darwin proved that it behooved All life to fight and strive, Since none of those who helped their foes Could flourish and survive. The modern state invalidates The view of days gone by: That folks should seek to help the weak Whom nature chose to die. We’ll interrupt and shut them up Before they dare say more. And then we’ll act as if the chat Has really been a bore. Our simple pride attempts to hide The fact we’re blowing smoke; The things they’ve said outside their head Are really not a joke. Our kids at last have fully grasped The age of self-respect. When people flaunt ‘the heck they want, And no one dares object. There still exists some moral mist To shroud the naked ground, But those resolved have since evolved The ways to get around. Their search for fun is never done ‘Till life begins to halt. And though they’ve maimed the friends they’ve claimed, It never is their fault. They search for prey to blast away Like walking, talking, bombs; Their toxic load will help explode Their sisters, sons, and moms. CHAPTER THIRTEEN (The North Tower Trap) The sum of all I’ve said ‘til now May seem obscure and vague, And ev’ry point seems out of joint When patience starts to lag. But if you’ll wait to extricate Your brain from what I’ve said, You’ll understand there is a plan Behind the things you’ve read. I’ve spent some time and lots of rhyme On philosophic notes, Which have a sound that’s often found In bumper-sticker quotes. But I insist my aim in this Is surely not by far, To earn some pay through each cliché I stick to someone’s car. For have no doubt this song’s about That mid-September day, When thousands died and millions cried In anger and dismay. My goal remains to help explain The horror that was there, And merge this with the very pith Of ev’ry day despair. The things I’ve said at last have led Us back to where we were: When tower two collapsed right through And shortly was no more. And ev’ry one in tower one Now faced a mortal threat; But those who knew what they must do Could still be rescued yet. The fire chiefs engulfed in grief Had left the tower’s base. They understood that all who could Must leave in any case. The ones who grasped what just had passed Felt horribly bereft. They all agreed they’d later need Whomever still was left. The mayday call went out to all Who still remained inside, Directing those with radios To flee before they died. The most who heard that vital word While climbing towards death; Were turned around and started down, While slowly catching breath. But other pairs who climbed the stairs Had not received the news. They still embraced the grueling race Straight up that smoking fuse. They thought of chaps engulfed in traps Above them in that hell. These daring men did not know when The southern tower fell. As some came down they shortly found That others still came up. Bewildered men yelled out to them To ask them what was up. They told each band that head command Had ordered all to leave; But some of these despite their pleas, Inclined to disbelieve. The most agreed to leave with speed, But some remained and died. They chose to stay, survivors say, For reasons far and wide: To not descend without a friend, Or else to rest and talk; But others paused to help the cause Of those who could not walk. Confusion grew as crew by crew The exodus began. They took their time to make the climb, Exhausted to a man. They thought that when they reached the end They’d learn what’s going on; But to their awe instead they saw That ev’ryone was gone. The leaders’ post was just a ghost: The plaque alone remained. They looked around for sight or sound, But only silence reigned. The pallid crust of chalky dust Induced a kind of swoon, Which made it seem as in a dream They’d stepped onto the moon. They paused in shock, afraid to talk, As if already dead. The empty shell produced a spell That hypnotized their heads. They felt a voice, against their choice, Enticing them to rest; But seasoned guys could recognize This final, lethal, test. The time had passed, the die was cast To close the second act. This tower built to never wilt Could not remain intact. The steel beams and welded seams Had weakened at their heart. They’d fought so hard, but badly scarred, At last they came apart Then ev’ryone who still could run Was dashing for escape. The ones who’d walked a couple blocks Remained in hopeful shape. The ones whose hides were just outside Had somewhat even odds, But all the pairs who roamed the stairs Would see the face of God. The crushing noise engulfed these boys, With little pain, I hope. A moment’s sweat is all they’d get For hearts and minds to cope. These heroes died because they tried, With much success, I add, To save the lives of dads and wives Whom other people had. CHAPTER FOURTEEN (In the Streets of Destruction) There comes a time in ev’ry mind For humans to decide, If they can know where people go Whose bodies just have died. It burns the most when death’s so close You glimpse the skull and hood; And wonder how, a breath from now, You might be gone for good. This need for fact was not abstract When tower one collapsed. With growing fear that death was near, The victims’ brains synapsed. So many boys would weep with joy, Surprised they were alive; While others died, convinced inside, They somehow would survive. As hearts were stopped the tower dropped, Already cloaked in mist. The structure broke with puffs of smoke As floors and ceilings kissed. The orange eyes that scorched the skies Were fanned one final time; To show, anew, what God could do To those who caused this crime. The peoples’ tongues were in their lungs The moment that they grasped, The dreadful fate that might await The lives to which they clasped. They ran like deer with primal fear Across the urban street, But while they lunged the tower plunged A thousand chilling feet. As noises pulsed the ground convulsed And shook their piece of town, While tons of trash began to smash The pavement all around. The bricks and rocks rained down for blocks Eroding down to sand; And people fled among the dead, Provided they could stand. The human herd with vision blurred Was frantic for escape. They tried to jog beyond the fog That kept on changing shape. Survivors tell how many fell While struggling in the dark, Till most were blind and had to find A place to wait and park. The ones up close were scared the most, Afraid they’d be submerged. They thought their friends had met their ends, When hotter vapors surged. Their hearts were flexed, expecting next, A ball of raging flame; But in their grief they found relief When nothing ever came. Though hopes improved they dared not move, Like troops before the dawn. Though darkness pressed survivors guessed The worst had come and gone. Escaping death they held their breath As long as they could wait. Afraid, at last, though time had passed, They still might suffocate. They had no chance while dust advanced To ventilate their core. The grimy rain was still sustained For many seconds more. As paper shreds engulfed their heads The wind began to blow. They caught a glimpse in rapid squints, That looked liked like sleet and snow Initial sounds had now been drowned In silence like the grave. The fearsome quakes had ceased to shake The refuge of the brave. The stillness broke to fits of chokes As people quickly stood. They knelt and coughed and dusted off Their mouths the best they could. In one locale a windy spell Had chased away the night. The battered groups, like rescued troops, Were basking in the light. But other fronts received the brunt Of what their neighbors lacked. In darkness deep they fought to keep Their eyes and lungs intact. With fears unquelled survivors yelled, Still very much afraid. To make it through, the wounded knew, They’d need somebody’s aid. The great abyss was shaking with The shouting all around. The strong, though blind, took pains to find, The sources of the sound. Beside the struts of cars and trucks, The frightened ones called out. With timid feet they found the street, Continuing to shout. The noises merged as friends converged, Unable still to see; Imbued with hope that one more grope Would set each other free. They lurched in haste despite the taste Of ashes on the tongue. And when at last their fingers clasped, They hugged like they were one. If human touch can mean this much To creatures made from sod; Then how much more is there in store, When folks reach out to God? The need for fear can find its cure In someone you can trust. The toughest men felt safe again While hugging in the dust. A frightened man will take your hand, As puppies grab a bone; But woe to those who face their throes Completely all alone. CHAPTER FIFTEEN (Righteous Anger) The war and strife for air and life Became a losing race, For each one maimed who still remained Unconscious on his face. As dark dispersed the rest rehearsed The horrors in their minds. With actions bold they grabbed a hold Of victims left behind. Their will unflagged these heroes dragged Out strangers twice their size. By giving aid they each displayed The terrorists’ disguise. For martyrdom is called by some The death these killers crave, But better men than all of them Are those who die to save. The morning sun was still quite young As news began to spread. Reporters guessed at very best Some thousands still were dead. Around the world the airwaves filled With faces full of tears. So many cried for those who died, While others shouted cheers. We looked around at zero ground A second time that day; Amazed within at what had been Completely blown away. Beyond this wake the world would shake As TV cam’ras probed. We watched it prime in real time In homes around the globe. Initial views that filled the news Were taken from the air. They shocked our heads with coverage Of all that wasn’t there. And later when the cam’ra men Could make it in on foot, They’d film that charred, yet famous shard Protruding through the soot. As anchors spoke their features broke, In genuine dismay. Their voices told how young and old Were victims of the day. We used to gripe because they’d hype Their stories without end: But these events were so immense They did not need pretend. For as they talked survivors walked, Like mummies from their tombs. And horrors streamed through giant screens, Into our living rooms. In office halls with cube-shaped walls The crowds began to lurk, And no one cared that people stared Instead of doing work. The janitor who scrubbed the floor Released his broom and mop. The office clerk who never shirked Let all his deadlines drop. The chubby necks of chief execs Could barely move an inch, While eyes and ears on engineers Refused to even flinch. Without a word we each concurred In what we understood: That this attack was aimed right at Our human brotherhood. When evil’s done then ev’ry one Must speak for those who die: We all agreed this dreadful deed Deserved a strong reply. We knew, of course, that things much worse, May happen year to year. But this does not excuse one jot Of what we witnessed here. We know that more would die in war, Or driving in their car; But those who kill to prove their will Have clearly gone too far. To tolerate this kind of hate Would be an ugly sin. It is not wise to shut ones eyes, And let the bad guys win. Of course I know it’s sensible To let the small things slide; But when the crime has crossed a line, We dare not duck and hide. Our land was built when blood was spilt To challenge what was wrong. On diff’rent ground, we sometimes found, We could not get along. We fought to save our brother slave, We fought to save ourselves: We fought to cure a hemisphere, Where Hitler worked his spells. We’ve always been the kind of kin Who’ve pointed the frauds. Espec’lly when the guilty men Attacked our native sod. We’ve come to know since long ago You can’t accept the claim, That both the sides when two collide Are equally to blame. Our wish for peace should not decrease Our willingness to fight. We never know which secret foe May have us in their sights. We hope and pray each dawning day For peace at least for now; But plan, so when, we fight again, We’ll still remember how. CHAPTER SIXTEEN (The Morality of War) When kids grow up they learn to strut As if they’re really smart. They land a job that pays a gob And learn to play the part. They start to speak with bits of Greek Or Latin in a string; And hide their gaffes in paragraphs That hardly mean a thing. The end result’s that each adult Is dumber than he knows. For as his years dispel his fears His confidence still grows. He’ll build a box with heavy locks, To hold a languished id; And there he’ll pitch, the lessons, which, He studied as a kid. This trend explains why many brains Believe that war is wrong. They start to rant and ask why can’t We all just get along. They make it seem as if this dream Is easy to command: Forgetting truth, that as a youth, They used to understand. For when we’re young, our hearts are stung By evils we observe. We fight for hope, so we can cope, With guts and skill and nerve. At times our mom will come along And make the kids play nice, But come the day that she’s away We’re forced to pay the price! Can you recall the toughest brawl You’ve ever had to wage? Perhaps a punch you took at lunch From someone twice your age. But as a kid, you quickly did, What you would not do now: You kicked that jerk and grabbed his shirt, And slammed him on the wall. So grownups too, must often do The same to stay alive: We arm our troops to help improve The odds they will survive. If we’re attacked we strike right back With soldiers by the ranks; Supported by a large supply Of missiles, planes and tanks. But what if we, ourselves, would be The instigating side? By marching forth across the earth In overzealous pride? By killing lads beside their dads And raping whom we choose; Could we condemn the likes of them Who’d pray that we would lose? Does God up there observe or care, When humans settle scores? Does he object when lives are wrecked, By armies fighting wars? For those who trust a God who’s just, The answer must be yes; I do believe that He can grieve For ev’ry one of us. Since God gave birth to all on Earth, He cares for ev’ry soul. The strong, the weak, the bold, the meek, The hungry and the full. His love’s not bound by piece of ground Or color of the skin; Each human breath from life to death, Draws all its strength from Him. He gave us legs to help us drag Ourselves around the world. He gave us hands to plow the lands Where none before had tilled. He gave us brains to build the trains According to a plan; He gave us hearts so each might start To love his fellow man. But God’s intent for what he sent Is usually refused. We think we may decide the way Our bodies will be used. For often might decides what’s right, And justice is not found; And tyrants reign through fear and pain As if there are no bounds They use their feet to crush the weak Stanza Who ask when they’ll be fed. They use their fists to break the wrists That reach out for their bread. They use their smarts to blow apart A city’s last defense; They use their rage to kill and cage In ways that don’t make sense. These thugs are not, as some have thought, At all misunderstood. They make it clear their reign of fear Disdains the common good. What right have we when victims flee To shrug and make amends? It’s best to stand, as God demands, By treaties with our friends. So when you fight make sure you’re right, With ev’ry blow you take. When quenching life in bloody strife, Be cautious of mistakes. But understand the other hand That comes from giving in: To offer peace with too much ease Can also be a sin! CHAPTER SEVENTEEN (A Definite Conclusion) A human brain destroyed by pain Will often gripe at God, Who must have guilt because He built A world that’s clearly flawed. In times of grief there’s no relief In other people’s bliss: It makes the curse just that much worse For those who go through this. But God above has proved his love By planning an escape: To fix in full the damaged soul That’s scarred by Satan’s rape. Like firemen responding when They hear a victim’s voice, So God will rush to people crushed By someone else’s choice. He’s not to blame that humans maim Their brothers and their friends. Or that we choose to often use His gifts for selfish ends. We’ve all been born in hate and scorn, As captives to our sin; But God who’s fair will take good care Of those who let Him win. The deeds we’ve done beneath the sun Are filled with hate and vice. Where justice stands the law demands That someone pays the price. The laws decree a penalty Your heart knows very well: That in the end you’ll have to spend Eternity in hell. Now most will fight against this plight By sometimes doing good. They’ll feed the poor who find their door Because they know they should. But still their souls are bursting full With doubts they can’t describe, As fingers grope to find some hope That God accepts their bribe. But there’s no way these games you play Eliminate your crimes. They never serve to change the curve You’ve set at other times. You try to claim some noble aim Absolves you of your flaw; But this, you know, would never go In any court of law. For if you were a murderer They’d never set you free, Because your wealth or days of health Were used for charity. The jurors there would hardly care How all of it was spent, As if your dimes could pay for crimes And make you innocent! So do not try the day you die To hand the Lord a list. The secret stash you plan to cash Mostly likely won’t exist. To pay the debt with what you get Is something that you can’t: The only way to get away Is if you have a grant. For God who reigns has long ordained That all should have a chance: Not just the one who might have done Their quota in advance. He died for those who once opposed His justice with their sin: He leaves the door wide open for These losers to come in. And so one day this wretched clay Received a gift from God. His Holy Son, the sinless one, Came down where sinners trod. He lived like us, He earned our trust, Through power and through love. He proved that He was Deity, But acted like a dove. Despite His name our Maker came To take on flesh and die. He set aside his rightful pride For those who kill and lie. We did not wait or hesitate To heap on our abuse: Enraged at heart we all took part As pagans or as Jews. But Jesus’ ears ignored our cheers That night we were his foes. He looked for friends, but not revenge, The morning when He rose. Instead of strife he gave out life To those he could destroy, Our new belief transformed our grief Abruptly into joy. But then you shout: “Oh what about, The ones who’ve never heard? Will God condemn the lot of them Without a single word?” Your lips declare that God’s not fair To those who have no clue, But this excuse has zero use For all the rest like you! For now you know the way to go When sins begin to haunt. If love and cheer devoid of fear Is really what you want. But if you wait or vacillate Be wary of the cause: When lust and pride make you decide You want to keep your flaws.
THE ROUGH DRAFT WAS STARTED ON 6/24/08 AND FINISHED ON 4/15/10
 Reference: Harnden, Toby. “Seedy secrets of hijackers who broke Muslim laws.” Telegraph.co.uk. 06 Oct 2001, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1358665/Seedy-secrets-of-hijackers-who-broke-Muslim-laws.html
Line quoted from movie: United 93. Dir. Paul Greengrass. Universal Pictures. 2006.
 Reference: United States. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission Report. New York: W.W. Norton & Company: 13.
 Reference: United States. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission Report. New York: W.W. Norton & Company: 12.
 A firefighter with sixty pounds of gear takes a minute to climb one flight of stairs. Reference: 9/11 film taken by Jules Naudet and Gideon Naudet. Goldfish Pictures and Silverstar Productions. 2002.
 Reference: United States. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission Report. New York: W.W. Norton & Company: 294.
 The Bible often groups the saints in multiples of twelve in heaven. See Revelation 5:8.
 God has chosen to give his revelation primarily to Jewish prophets. However, these Jewish writers came from a variety of diverse cultural roots. The written word of God spans 1400 years and was written in three different languages. Also, some of God’s prophets, like Enoch, Melchizzidek, and Job were gentiles. The amazing thing about the Bible is that it is in complete agreement with itself despite the fact that it was written by such a diverse group of people.
 My point is that some areas of scientific inquiry (such as cosmology) require a lot of speculation since physical limitations such as time, distance, and size keep us from obtaining all of the data which we would like to collect. Scientists are taught, correctly, not to accept as true anything that cannot be proven or disproven. However, scientists are only human, and as such they are tempted to conclude as much as possible from what little evidence is available when dealing with the distant past, or with objects that are far away. Although there is nothing wrong with speculation, human nature makes it difficult for discoverers to admit it when their hypothesis are based mainly on guess work and not provable fact.
 I am referring to the 100 years preceding the 9-11 attacks, not the writing of this poem. This should be taken as a reference to the 20th century, the century of modernism, postmodernism, fascism, and communism.
 T.S. Eliot.
 Reference: Eliot, T.S. The Wasteland. 1922. 237-252
 Reference: United States. National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States. The 9/11 Commission Report. New York: W.W. Norton & Company: 307-308.
 One of the firefighters described the scene as “a lunar landscape.” Reference: 9/11 film taken by Jules Naudet and Gideon Naudet. Goldfish Pictures and Silverstar Productions. 2002.
 Based on account by a surviving firefighter. Reference: 9/11 film taken by Jules Naudet and Gideon Naudet. Goldfish Pictures and Silverstar Productions. 2002.
 One of the Naudet Brothers helped someone walk a larger, partially unconscious man away from the scene. Reference: 9/11 film taken by Jules Naudet and Gideon Naudet. Goldfish Pictures and Silverstar Productions. 2002.
 The “best” or most conservative estimates at the time were that only a few thousand had died, which eventually turned out to be true (barely under three thousand). In those first few hours some people were speculating that as many as ten to twenty thousand might be dead.
 Within hours of the attacks video footage of cheering Palestinians was broadcast by prominent news sources such as CNN and Fox.
 Most political and religious leaders immediately condemned the attacks as immoral. This included many leaders of Islamic countries and religious organizations.
 Most polysyllabic words in the English language have Latin or Greek roots. People who see themselves as sophisticated intellectuals love to use these words frequently, frowning on the “lowly” monosyllabic words of German origin that common people use. However, the Germanic words are usually less vague and should be the words that we generally use to communicate. Greek and Latin based words should be mostly reserved for technical uses such as that by scientists and medical doctors.
 Joshua chapters 9-10.
 The Bible teaches that God is not responsible for creating our sin nature. It was the result of a choice of our ancestors, Adam and Eve (Genisis 3). Some will claim that it’s not fair that we are victims of their decision. However, God is both just and merciful, which is why He offers a way of escape to everyone who will accept it (Romans 5:18). Therefore, anyone who has heard and rejected God’s generous offer of forgiveness will suffer the full consequences of their sins after death because they would rather continue to satisfy their selfish desires than surrender their lives to the control of God.
 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
 The guilt for the crucifixion lies with all humans dead and alive including the author of this poem and anyone who reads it. It does not, as some have falsely claimed, rest only on the shoulders of the Jews (who are God’s chosen people). Guilt is not based on being physically present. It is based on the fact that as sinners we all naturally struggle against and hate the One who died for us, regardless of our cultural or religious background.