Burnt Offerings - Poem by Hugh Cobb
(dedicated to those who perished 09/11/2001)
'A world teetering on the brink...'
so speak pundits
of a not so new age.
They attempt to put horror into words;
words weakened by political correctness.
Caveman response, viscera brimming
with bile & adrenaline seems more apt.
Summoned by felled vista
blood lust & hatred feed the savage breast -
limbic brain's response.
Where is mercy in this cauldron
of emotion since Towers fell
struck by lightning?
Tarot Trump XVI images desolation
realized in jets' beauty
exploding American dream.
Myth of splendid isolation
destroyed in one instant of horror:
collapsed in molten steel,
a field of ashes &
atomized flesh & bone:
black smoke particulates
clouds of death - demonic
image lurking in fatal billows.
Trump XVI: 'The Tower Struck by
Lightning: ' sometimes called
'La Maison de Dieu, '
the House of God.
(Perhaps the latter name's appropriate
given our culture's worship of the material.)
The card depicts apocalypse:
bodies fall from a stricken tower
as clouds, fire & smoke roil about -
pictures on the morning news...
The Trump portends disaster, destruction,
a sudden strike from Heaven itself
made manifest in tumbling bodies
jumping to a death more merciful
than that offered by engulfing flames;
others, disintegrated on impact
(the lucky ones) .
All in total ruin.
A fall from grace.
Some holier-than-thou fools say as much;
use tragedy to beat self-righteous drums:
'Gods protection has been
removed from America! '
These speak the words of our enemies
(their truest allies)
for their narrow view is the same.
'We are the only true voices;
ours the only way, ' they cry. 'Every word,
jot & tittle is literal & true...'
They forget metaphor was Christ's way:
parables & stories: truth masked
& revealed in fiction.
Kyrie eleison Christi eleison
We need to find mercy in our hearts
to forgive, not only our enemies
but also ourselves.
Our nation's stunned:
collective heart deep struck
but still beating.
We emerge through fire & smoke
an act of will
revealing a nation's character.
Resistant steel our strength
forged in fires set
by those who hate us.
Our prayers lift with smoke
& ashes of nearly 3,000 souls,
rising to the heavens:
Copyright Hugh Cobb 8/30/02
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