When will our consciences grow so tender that we will
act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?


Not trade towers, not airplanes. . .people. Not symbols
of wealth or power. . . it turns out, only people.

Those buildings fell inside us. All those lives
came clamoring down to the bottoms of our souls.
It didn't matter if you were young or old
left or right, rich or poor
the shock, horror and grief were the same.
We are the ghosts left standing, all facing
the same crater of disbelief.

What do we plant in these ashes?
What seed is waiting inside us?

There is no security perimeter wide enough
to guard us from a world burning in the fires
of ancient hatred and modern inequality,
collapsing nature and runaway greed.

Something else is needed.
Something perhaps unimaginable to us now,
for which there is no ballot to pull
no news station to turn to
no army yet mobilized. . .

Let the silence of these ashes
ring the bell inside us
now that our consciences
have grown so tender.








[Photograph: Doug Kanter, Agence France-Presse]

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