Chuma Nwokolo
Chuma Nwokolo
A September Eleven Poem


Because no new rage registered
on the Research Seismograph of Human Fury

because no new grief mushroomed white and incandescent
above the stale categories of numbspouselessness
and suddenmotherlessness and lifescorchinglimblessness

because no new human solvents were inquested
beyond tears sweat blood

because the poor souls who flew out of windows in fear
did not fly after all

because the kneejerk was one hundred million years old


because a line was not drawn under the horror of hatred
or over the train of terror pulling in and out of Christmas
stations with bigger and flashier blindinglyfatherlessness

nothing new happened and
the world did not change forever on September eleven 2001

When I wrote Kamikaze a few years ago it was a weary response to the constant refrain tossed around by talking heads. Everywhere I turned, I heard it: the world changed forever on September 11 2001.

Really? Okay, so there is an extra hour’s wait at airport lounges. So a few more cities in the world live with a Palestinian dread of air strikes, or an Israeli fear of billowing burqas. Other than that it seemed that the world was just as predictable as it had always been: one strike provokes another bigger strike. Which provokes a still-bigger strike. Which process goes on and on until one or both sides are overwhelmingly exhausted. At which point (if they still have hands to sign with) an armistice is signed. Or a surrender. Or a withdrawal.

Until rearmament is completed.

What would have truly changed the world would have been the spectre of parties stepping beyond entrenched self-interest and perchance volunteering the cost of a decade or so of war in the purchase of a century or two of peace. But no, the world remains beholden to bunkered war-mongers throwing suicide regiments of teenagers at each other, for every foot soldier is by contractual definition a suicide warrior. On this anniversary, my sincere commiserations go to the true victims of the September 11, 2001 atrocity in New York, and their friends and families. And all the victims since.


4 Replies to “A September Eleven Poem”

  1. John Timms says:

    So refreshing to hear a lawyer speak of something other than “money”. Thank you it was not only a beautiful poem, but a great explanation.
    Thank You Sir
    John Timms
    San Antonio Texas

    1. Chuma says:

      Money John?
      A pot of it is always nice to have. But it’s good to strike a balance… know what price at which to leave the auction room…
      Thanks for the comment,


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