Somber, Sad Though Hopeful Uplifting Memories In Prayers

Somber, Sad Though Hopeful Uplifting Memories In Prayers

My observations Throughout NYC, Following The 9/11/2001 attack on the WTC

A few days later, perhaps indeed it might have been a couple of weeks, when I finally made it into New York City, on another prearrange business. This time, to conduct my very first book signing and participate in the book fair. I believe it was at the Machinist Tradesmen Union Hall, in Manhattan. Although at my sisters and brothers insistence that I revoked the invitation and skip the risk, it wasn’t going to happen! I was just too excited and looking forward to being there to support. Besides, my friend, the Honorable Antonieta Maximo, who was at that time the Consulate to Honduras in the City of New York, had helped to arranged my seat at the book signing and I believed they’d in fact, (her office) had covered the fee for my table at the book fair… of course, I did not want to disappoint and let the few friends, whom actually supported and believed in me down!

Surprisingly, I wasn’t scared at all, but rather looking forward to coming into the city and contributing. Doing the best I could to try and uplift the morale of the people. Read a couple of uplifting poems, gave the servers and waiters a little extra tips, I was super cordial, and tried not to ask questions about their trauma, hence the awful tragedy they’d recently endured. However, if they brought it up, I was willing to stand and listen. Of course, among so many a different authors, writers, there were just as many a different personalities… including conspiracy theorists. Therefore the vivid and colorful variety of pseudo expert conversations flew from left to right.

One thing I did noticed right away, as a trained mental health worker, was the somberness, the dismal look in many of the people’s eyes… as if in a daze. Each time I’d travelled to New York City, it was always that place that was always bustling, no matter what. That day, it was as if it now obviously stood almost in silence, and in mourning, somber and sad. Hurt, beaten, their faces seen on the streets, heads hang down, bowing, saddened gloomy. I noted people, however, now acting more cordial and loving toward each other. I saw so many hugs and extra-long embraces, I vividly documented unnumbered random acts of kindness. As a boring New England dweller, who’d often came here to the city to observed, document and people-watch, during field research on the streets, I now appeared rude and felt out of place. But I saw and felt renewed hope upon the horizon. So, it was then, when I penned this little piece of poem down, as I boarded the train and rode back home that night. May God Bless New York.

Sixteen years later around September 2017, as I sat down to the dining room table in our New York City apartment to write this book, Poetic Dance Across The World. I then began to search, collect and compile all of the poems and prayers that I had written years earlier about New York City and 9/11, I’d often raised my head to glance down the Hudson River, and suddenly realized that the view from where I sat to write, was directly facing straight down to where the twin towers once stood. I then concluded in my mind that I better finished it and get it published. That was actually the inspiration.

Surprisingly, today I just realized that I’m almost a Newyorker! So 19 years later, again on this September 11/2020 … I my thoughts, as I humbly implored to god in prayer. May God Blessed Our Our Beloved City, May God Blessed Puerto Rico, May God Blessed Honduras, May God Blessed The World… God May You Please Continue To Blessed New York?

Prayer # 5

May God Bless New York

What destruction?
Reconstruction perhaps
Thus Lady Liberty still smiles
she still stands tall
thus torch still shines illuminating thou faith
thine hopes… hence reawakening thou spirit

Destruction… what destruction?
The reconstruction to our souls perhaps
In a city where big egos and attitudes 
once beaconed bright, as a survivor’s guide
selfishly folks walked passed each other head up high
not a hello nor even a smile…
They now give hugs a shared compassion
They give directions and to our elderly neighbors
a smile whom now we embrace

Destruction… where heads once bowed toward a gaze
I now see the tired faces of people standing in line…
long lines might I add… they’re eagerly awaiting
to help to volunteer

Destruction… what destruction?
You’ve managed to topple a few buildings since replaced
and in the process you’ve martyred a few thousands
yet you brought us all closer together
hence today, we all now stand tall
we stand proud.

We emanate with our love flowing
though today we grieve, we stand proud
as we  now stand shoulder to shoulder
as brothers and sisters together we stand strong
thus were moving forward, were moving along
May God bless America
May God bless the world
God May You Bless New York?

English Translation of Victor Jara’s last song. Written in the Chilean Stadium

There are five thousand of us here
in this small part of the city.
We are five thousand.
I wonder how many we are in all
in the cities and in the whole country?
Here alone
are ten thousand hands which plant seeds
and make the factories run.
How much humanity
exposed to hunger, cold, panic, pain,
moral pressure, terror and insanity?
Six of us were lost
as if into starry space.
One dead, another beaten as I could never have believed
a human being could be beaten.
The other four wanted to end their terror
one jumping into nothingness,
another beating his head against a wall,
but all with the fixed stare of death.
What horror the face of fascism creates!
They carry out their plans with knife-like precision.
Nothing matters to them.
To them, blood equals medals,
slaughter is an act of heroism.
Oh God, is this the world that you created,
for this your seven days of wonder and work?
Within these four walls only a number exists
which does not progress,
which slowly will wish more and more for death.
But suddenly my conscience awakes
and I see that this tide has no heartbeat,
only the pulse of machines
and the military showing their midwives’ faces
full of sweetness.
Let Mexico, Cuba and the world
cry out against this atrocity!
We are ten thousand hands
which can produce nothing.
How many of us in the whole country?
The blood of our President, our compañero,
will strike with more strength than bombs and machine guns!
So will our fist strike again!

How hard it is to sing
when I must sing of horror.
Horror which I am living,
horror which I am dying.
To see myself among so much
and so many moments of infinity
in which silence and screams
are the end of my song.
What I see, I have never seen
What I have felt and what I feel
Will give birth to the moment…

Estadio de Chile
September 11, 1973

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