September 11: Another Day
I could find no words today. I looked in my heart, long and hard, but I could find nothing to say.
Maybe it was because of all the things that changed that golden day. The dreams dashed, compassion drowned in retribution. Maybe it was because so little changed that fearful day. The same cynical lies, the same arrogant belief in the power of force, the same pitiful trust that violence will somehow keep us safe. Maybe it was that they chose this day to spin their fantasy of war. Maybe it was reading of the pain of the survivors — we are all survivors — huddled under umbrellas at ground zero, struggling to find some peace against the rising noise of the city, the lumbering giant getting on with life. Maybe it was my own lack of faith. Or maybe this is just another day. Another day like every other day. A day when I had no words.
Jeffers seemed to see us so clearly so long ago, when we seemed at the dawn of triumph:
So Many Blood-Lakes
We have now won two world-wars, neither of which concerned us, we were
slipped in. We have leveled the powers
Of Europe, that were the powers of the world, into rubble and
dependence. We have won two wars and a third is coming.
This one–will not be so easy. We were at ease while the powers of the
world were split into factions: we’ve changed that.
We have enjoyed fine dreams; we have dreamed of unifying the world; we
are unifying it–against us.
Two wars, and they breed a third. Now guard the beaches, watch the
north, trust not the dawns. Probe every cloud.
Build power. Fortress America may yet for a long time stand, between the
east and the west, like Byzantium.
–As for me: laugh at me. I agree with you. It is a foolish business to
see the future and screech at it.
One should watch and not speak. And patriotism has run the world through
so many blood-lakes: and we always fall in.
— Robinson Jeffers (1944)