Canto 85: Melting Planes

How sad it is to hear of so many illustrious-obscure persons living in foreign parts, & hear only, what was well-known without hearing, that they are also instinct with the spirit of Satan!

Thomas Carlyle


I heard my throat deep from the well,
The wolf my brothers’ summon spell
Invok’d, did hear & fled to Hell
Abbas Beydoun

The roaring Boeing honed in for the kill,
Al Quai’da’s chosen warring weapon,
Ignoring White House & Capitol Hill,
Preferring this five-sided bastion
Symbol of might
Beside the Potomac
A simple morning flight becomes a bold attack.

It crash’d into a helipad
& slid into a building,
The fuel rich tanks of the Jihad
In violent ‘WHOOM’ exploding,
From Moscow to Islamabad
On the spot reporting –
A universal moment on TV,
Not one attack, not two attacks, but three!

This firestorm fell fury daubs
The scene in smoke-swabb’d paint,
Thro blue, white strobes, assail’d earlobes,
Sev’ral survivors faint,
Behind, a crawling officer, arm cast up as a saint!

September 11th 2001

George Bush

Why are you staring at me
as if I were America itself
the new Empire
Lawrence Ferlinghetti

An aide whisper’d in the president’s ear
Sir, there has been an incident…” struck dumb,
‘Ministrations defining moment here,
Time to honour his nation’s faith now come
Stands Cowpoke George,
Subject of so much scorn,
A chance for friends to forge & image be reborn

For like Thatcher, Mussolini
& his father before him,
Votes can be won thro’ victory
& healthy jingoism,
He spoke with calm assurity,
“It is our contree’s aim
To bring all these terrorists to justice
& blow them sky high off the Earth’s surface.”

His ear whisper’d into again,
“They’ve hit the Pentagon…”
By private plane, fighters in train,
He dash’d to Washington
By crazy zig-zag course, “Sir, there might be another one.”

Somewhere over America
September 11th 2001


From lowest depths of woe
To God I send my cry:
Lord hear my supplicating voice
Brady & Tate

He sat within the ‘Windows of the World,
Relaxed for there was nothing he could do,
A half-mile below the services swirl’d,
All clamouring to hammer his rescue;
What was that sound?
Groaing… grinding… twisting…
‘Mamma Mia!’ the ground began madly moving…

How many necks were craned to see
The Tower Twins still burning
While chunks of girder’d masonry
Sent to sidewalks plummeting
As into the swollen valley
Swept avalanche roaring
Slipping into a sea of dust & brick,
Straight form some seventies disaster flick.

A portion of bedlam ensued
Vaster grew the mushroom,
By planet view’d, to boxes glued
In bar & sitting room…
He thought of Rome, so far from home, collapsing into doom

South Tower
September 11th 2001

All-American Heroism

Not for you a rattler’s
intricacies of concealment:
To strike/not to strike
Grace Hughes Chappell

There was another Boeing in the air
On which an all-American hero
Had rallied four passengers to the dare
Then phoned his wife, “I love you!” “Yes, I know!
You must do it
Or they may murder more…”
They went to do their bit in this most modern war

The phone left on so his dear wife
Could listen to the acrtion
He picket up a sharp, butter knife
Simple but deadly weapon
& took his first & only life
Savage the blade thrust in
The other guard is wrestled to the floor
& now the rest burst thro the cabin door.

As men commingled in melee
The Arabs lost control,
Victory pyyrhic, suddenly
The plane began to fall,
Crashing into some farmer’s field, the furnace fried them all

September 11th 2001

Second Towerfall

I pulled that future out of the north wind
at the landfill site, stamped with today’s date,
riding the air with other such futures,
Simon Armitage

Thro’ blizzards stampeding in shocks & tears,
Followed & swallowed by those choking clouds,
From fear’s fell swamps arise the lizard fears,
To gnaw at the emerging, crap-caked crowds
Clad ghostly white
They cried, ‘we’re gonna die!’
Day seem’d to turn to night, sun dust-block’d from the sky.

Out of a window she did lean
& stared at an empty space
Where the other tower had been,
As colour flush’d form her face
A pretty diadem serene
Settl’d on her with grace ,
She emailed her mother, brother, boyfriend,
Speaking truths for she knew this was the end.

She sign’d the cross & closed her eyes,
As with a screeching sound,
To gasps & cries the tower dies,
Bows to a mortal wound,
Its superstructure crushes rescuers across the ground.

North Tower
September 11th 2001

In the Field

That’s not how I suddenly become a poet,
By wetting my lips in the Hippocrene,
Or dreaming on the twin peaks of Parnassus

From musing-grounds around old Rusthall Wood
I dallied home, poesis almost spent,
A spot of morning strolling to the good
My house-mate serves up pleasant refreshment;
A spotted tart,
A pot of sweet Earl Grey,
A film’s about to start!” “Which one?” “The Longest Day!”

Naive young lads switch’d on the box,
Wise men crank’d up the volume,
Twin Towers crumbling into rocks,
Twas a new & brutal doom –
Casting such global aftershocks
From a dusty mushroom,
Wide-surging thro’ a world of steel & brick,
Straight from some seventies disaster flick!

What image splash’d across TV
From Sky to Channel Four,
We sip our tea, hesitantly,
Rebaptized evermore,
Are Men condemned to ever live their lives in fear of War?

Royal Tunbridge Wells
September 11th 2001

Osama Bin Laden

I am the voice
crying in the night
that cries endlessly
Dennis Vincent Brutus

Hidden by hills half-way around the globe,
Blackbeard bounty rising by the second,
His darkling-quoited eyes & pure white robe,
Reveals the Moor, less man more a legend;
He laughs out loud,
Hands clapping in bright glee,
Quite jubilant & proud of his mind’s artistry.

Within a secret desert den
Dwells the world’s most wanted man,
Watching reports on CNN,
Almost all had gone to plan,
On either side enraptured men,
His friends the Taliban
Congratulating him on the attacks
Some henchmen hands him Saddam Hussein’s fax.

His guards proclaim the victory,
Kaleshnikov salute,
Across that tree-lorn, steel contree,
To pied skies proud men shoot,
Then bask no more in triumph… for the War all turn’d astute.

September 11th 2001


When my neighbour had gone
and the insects’ chirping ended,
I tried in vain the song you taught me
Han Yong-un

I watch’d as my planet watch’d on with me
Trying to comprehend what I just saw,
This new, dark chapter for humanity,
This onset of another bloody war;
Sick of the news
I switch’d off all their talk,
Put on my coat & shoes & went back to my walk.

From Greenwich down to Harisson,
From Mamoreneck to Rye,
From these pleasant streets suburban
Streams of anxious phone calls fly,
Denying the television,
The truth they would defy,
A phone rings, “Hi babe!” “Thank god you’re all right!”
But many won’t be going home tonight

Around the police perimeter
People waited for news;
Father, Mother, Sister, Brother
Muslims, Catholics, Hindus,
Protestants, Presbyterians, Jove’s Witnesses & Jews.

New York City
September 11th 2001

Perhaps Not?

My mind to me a kingdom is;
Such perfect joy therein I find
That it excels all other bliss
Edward De Vere

All this, of course, is official story
Told by that whitewash/brainwash media,
The one that showers heroes in glory,
When death claims them midst the ‘War on Terror;’
I mean, come on
Planes melting thro’ a wall!?
Controll’d demolition… just watch those towers fall!

Tho’ Building Ten was barely scratch’d,
It dropp’d like Dionysis,
Those girder stubs professors match’d
With nano-thermite slices,
In minutes was a culprit hatch’d
Only to entice us
Into a mindset, first impression’s thrall,
“Bin Laden was the brains behind it all!”

Thro’ Hopkins airport two planes steer’d,
Ateem with personnel,
Who, very weirdly dissapear’d
Like weaopns down a well
But whether bought or bumped of only time & truth shall tell.

September 11th 2001

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