Remembering 911 — Leviathan’s Charge / The Rakers

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Leviathan’s Charge

What is this shadow that has been thrust across the world
this leviathan’s charge full of doubt and mistrust
stalking us from all angles
draining from us our pleasures
pumping its’ venom into the atoms we breathe
as madmen threaten us with nuclear rage and
devious sinister plots make us squirm as
they talk of martyrdom — of heaven’s rewards
yet cowardly these madmen send others to do their bidding
and we are anchored by their threats – waiting

No clock can forward its’ hands to reveal the future
no force can carry us back into a case of passive memory
it all stands before us in unmitigated mutiny
anticipation is the new oxygen
our orientation is to be left always wondering
when
where
how
who
yet being afraid only amuses them
being brave makes them all the more determined

It used to go in cycles
bouts with dissenting growling governments and dissidents
as we flaunted our own political savvy and might
but what good is might or savvy
when those who hate feel their own will is also God’s will
when those who hate are willing to unleash the dragons
without conscience

It’ s now all a matter of what one holds sacred
of being prepared for the worst
and hoping for the best
and being able to love and appreciate
all the things we take for granted
all that can slip away in a moment’s gleaning
so love hard
care hard
be aware of showing kindness to others who need our help
and remember
if anything
this new age brings to us
a focus on the importance of being
a focus on knowing we now live
in a new era with very sharp edges that cuts deep…

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The Rakers

September  11, 2001 Anniversary  – A Tribute To The ‘Rakers’

Two planes with their hostages slammed into the twin towers
boom the first
boom the second at 9:11 on 9/11
people stunned
mesmerized – switching back and forth between channels
two more planes buried themselves elsewhere
meanwhile the towers were ablaze

People on the upper Twin Towers freaked
some jumped
some phoned
all trying in vain to find a way out

Firefighters, ambulances, police headed toward the scene
so many men and women risking their lives
so many humans reduced to ash
squadrons absorbed by collapsing walls

The fires burned for three months straight
but one of the things that touched me two years later
was not all the debilitating chaos
nor the horror repeatedly drilled into us by the media
nor the talk of rebuilding
it was of those who chose to be “Rakers”

Many retired fireman rushed to the scene Tuesday on 9/12/2001
and for months they came back daily
spending countless hours helping as back up
while waiting to see if they could identify a missing face,
relative, or friend
when the fires finally quit and the clean-up began
many firefighters both retired and active became Rakers
for the dump trucks to spread a thin load of debris on the ground
so they could literally rake through  the ash
dirt and dust looking for parts to retrieve:
fingers
toes
organs
anything of human remains
they mostly wanted to find bones
solid parts to catalogue
vestiges of  the dead to bring closure
to those in mourning.

The Rakers would slowly cast out the rake
catching the remnants of carnage
in metal teeth
one fireman said he had to stop
after coming across a human heart

The lesson of course comes down to love for their fellow man
and dedication
maybe they possess an extra gene for caring-
for doing a job
that requires a stiffening of the spine
and yet inside, a great swell compassion

It is these “Rakers”
these firemen volunteers
combing for traces of human pieces
who are certainly the cream of humanity
willing to go beyond what is asked
willing to look beyond what many of us would be repulsed by
willing to feel beyond all emotional pain they must continually store
and I salute you for your bravery and valor!
I salute you for doing a task
while your hearts were bursting at the seams
for your fellow fire fighters killed while on the line of duty-
I suppose for them it is really about that old adage –
what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger
and that strength is what we will always honor you for…
Abbe

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