shocking canvas of contrast: planes
fly black against far-flung heaven.
Even unbelieving prayer
muttered with quiet resigned breaths
could not foretell or forestall stains
gouging ground, splintering sky, stainingsteel, scuttled lives, exhaling blue,
imploding in hydraulic breaths
screaming through city, hill, and plain.
Common words, sweet sacred prayers
lip-synched by believers heaven
sent from hell to transform heavenmarked by the golden crescent, stain
of a singular god and prayer,
cloaked in cheap polyester blue,
costume of the West, boarding planes
inhaling, exhaling, one breath
holy comingling with all breaths,lifting as one to make heaven
on earth, to be done, in the plane.
It is foretold, on pages stained
sepia, older than time, blue
ink and red seeping on prayer.
Father, mother, children all - praythe ancient songs with soft breaths,
for God cannot hear in this blue
twilight; sing who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name, thy love stained
by unseen portents, for the plane
is a steel-bound casket, the planepulses with souls insistent, prey
trembling, mortal flesh and smoke-stained,
metal-wrapped in a dragon’s breath.
For the meek, the blessed, to heaven
will float ashen to brilliant blue.
Blue sky trailed by white plane flumesmarking a heaven all pray exists;
God’s breath stained by metal and fire.
I post this humble sestina every September 11, for what other event has so marked America and her future? We have men and women fighting for her freedom around the world because of this day. I think of those individuals--real and created--who have lost their lives or something else of importance to terrorism and the fight against it.
Shalom, Salaam, Peace...