Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Watercolour by Tony Taylor http://www.paintingbreaksguernsey.com

Thursday, 11 September 2014

CAN IT REALLY BE THIRTEEN YEARS?




I was drinking coffee at a pavement cafe in Auray, a small town in Brittany in northern France back in 2001, when I heard the news of the terrorist attack on New York’s Twin Towers. 
Conditioned by many years of exposure to Irish Republican terrorism in Ulster, I was perhaps not as shocked as many of those around me. 
A terrorist’s advantage is the ability to think, and then perpetrate, the unthinkable. There’s no defence against this unless we begin to think like terrorists. 
It’s sad to reflect on how much the world has changed since that terrible day.

How good it would be to be able to rewind time.



REWIND

Wind Time back. Rewind Time.
     
Make the struck towers rise from dust,
reconstruct themselves: glass, concrete, girders, walls,
a huge jigsaw
interlocked, complete again.

Lights come on, phones chirp like crickets.

In reconstructed work-stations, fingers dance on keyboards again;
vending machines cough then spew out pungent brew; 
air-con sighs then resumes; elevators ascend, descend;
video conferences resume mid-sentence, emails beep, 
digital clocks flicker like quick, green lizards. 

Time restarts as though it had never ended.

Hopes, innocence, daydreams, boredom: 
all the mundane certainties of ordinary lives 
are reaffirmed.
Shoes, handbags, mobile phones, flesh, warped by intense heat:
these un-melt, re-form, 
resume their shapes.

The  terrible, unearthly screams subside.

Backwards 
the soft clouds drift; birds fly in reverse.
Those grim death-planes, stiletto-silver in the morning sun, 
withdraw, like daggers, from the shattered towers,
whose twin glass skins, pristine again,
shimmer
like smooth, un-rippled water.

4 comments:

  1. I loved the idea of phones chirping like crickets. A very moving poem.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So much has changed since then.

    ReplyDelete