cathode ray chaos

unreal reality


the graceful glide
by the spire

a roar of golden orange

horribly beautiful
perversely mesmerizing


torrents of humanity
raining down

their only escape

massess of humanity
to outrun
the unbelievable

to be delivered
from the inconceivable


majestic edifice

each consumed
by the unbearable weight
of its own crown

floating to earth
on a cloud
of self-destruction



lost souls

by the unbearable weight
of the moment


staggering onward

to outdistance
the surging roll
of all-engulfing




those who were called
who served

and perished



wiped away

from the ashen-grey faces
of the traumatized throngs

now just masks
of calamity

all made equal
by horror
and grief

one nation
under siege
with tragedy and sorrow
for all



rob kistner © 9/11/01


• • •



~ by Image&VerseToo on January 10, 2008.

30 Responses to “Images”

  1. Our poems are not the same, but similar. Sorry Rob, I hope you don’t feel I stole your thunder — beautiful poem by the way!

  2. A date none of us can forget!

  3. Granny –

    Nor should we ever forget!

  4. Chris –

    I enjoyed your piece, and it is quite different. I’m glad you enjoyed my work… 😉

  5. A time-machine ride! All those images made me catch my breath, Rob. I still remember how the NY Times showed vignettes of the ‘ordinary’ people and what they left behind. The ash was the most heartbreaking. Fine poem. . .thanks for the reminder.

  6. This poem transports me back to be frozen in front of my 12″ TV, while getting ready for work that unforgettable morning. Everyone in my office, operating on auto pilot came into work that day, unsure what to do with themselves. Soon after, we were sent home, and many of us, including myself, went to be with our families.

    Your words capture that sense of unreal and surreal to a tee.

  7. Noni –

    I’m pleased this reached you… and you are most welcome!

  8. Herb –

    The horrific and heroic elements of that day are printed indelibly on my soul.

    So said they’ve been used since to entrench a regime driven by an unrelated minority agenda, strip from us our human rights, launch a campaign of imperialism that is costing us many thousands of our young, and as trivializing fodder for a campaign slogan.

    It seems at times as if we did not learn the brutal lesson of that day.

  9. I grew up just outside of New York City, and every time I go home and look at the gaping hole in the skyline it’s like a knife to my chest. I’ve never been to a funeral as horrible as the one for a father of a newborn baby girl, stolen from each other’s lives when they’d barely said hello. Oh, and it took a month to find him and take him home, too.

  10. ‘one nation
    under siege
    with tragedy and sorrow
    for all’
    thank you Rob.
    That is THE most unforgettable date. Your words paint
    the images that are ingrained in my head and heart forever.

  11. Excellent work, Rob, about that horrific day that none will forget!

  12. beautiful response.

  13. Rob,

    I was still in the Philippines when it happened watching the tragedy in CNN, live. I thought I was watching a high tech film, but I remember I was watching a news so I switched to BBC to confirm that what I was watching was real, and it is. I was in shock for a moment, and then I called everybody at home to watch. We shared equal impact with the rest of the world watching TV that fateful day of sorrow.

    This piece and the image conjure flashbacks. Great work as ever.

    I wish you well.

    ~ Jeques

  14. Robin –

    It was a devastating tragedy. I could not imagine the grief that must have permeated that funeral.

    I wrote the first draft of “Images” on the day of the horrible event, sitting in front of my TV — but I was never able to complete it. This particular SS prompt brought that terrible day back into vivid focus, and I finally finished the piece… with tears in my eyes.

    I hope all the families who lost loved ones in that inferno, have or will find peace.

  15. Lucy –

    May we never forget that heartless slaughter of the innocent!

  16. Tumblewords –

    Thank you… it is dedicated to the memory of all those who perished, and their loved ones left behind.

  17. Jenica –


  18. Jeques –

    That traumatic time is indelibly etched in my heart, and on my soul!

  19. I don’t generally read things about 9/11, because most of it is so maudlin I can’t take it. There are ways to grieve, to mourn, to commemorate, without being melodramatic to the point of insincerity. You have done so, and brilliantly, with this poem.

  20. MissMeliss –

    The bulk of this piece was written on the day of the tragedy, while likely in some degree of shock, as I watched it unfold on TV. It was simply my reaction to what was passing before my eyes.

  21. An intense piece – this powerfully expresses the horror, shock and pain of what we were all feeling that day. JP/deb

  22. Your spare writing is perfect for this subject. Each word carries its own weight and emphasizes the horror.

  23. JP/deb –

    You are gracious… and it was an extremely tense and heart wrenching day!

  24. Linda –

    I appreciate your complimentary words.

  25. Beautiful poem. Vivid and descriptive. Evocative.

  26. A poem from the heart about something despicable…that is a date always to be remembered for the innocent deaths it caused and for the new word it etched deep and permanent- terrorism…


  27. i loved the unfolding of every emotion every thought every sight that stare back at us to this day…thank you for the beautiful yet haunting rememberance…

  28. Forgetful –

    Thank you… 😉

  29. Thinking –

    Glad this reached you…

  30. POpie –

    You are very kind… 😉

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