Bordeaux Bay

Bordeaux Bay
Bordeaux Bay by Guernsey-based artist Tony Taylor

Sunday, 11 September 2016


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. 

Unfortunately most democratic institutions are incapable of doing this.
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.


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

Wind Time back. Rewind Time.

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 former shapes.
The terrible, unearthly screams 

Wind Time back. Rewind Time.

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,
like smooth, un-rippled water.

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