People, Peace, and Past

For these United States, yesterday was a day of remembrance. Ten years past, terrorism struck the heartland in one of the biggest horrors the nation has ever witnessed. It was one of those moments blazed into the psyche. Into the soul. Hardly a person can’t be turned to and asked, “Where were you when the Towers fell?” In many ways, it was a moment that defined this generation, for this and many other countries as well, as it kicked off ten years of war, fear, and globally shifting ideas of security.

Suitably, the dedications yesterday were far reaching – the connections, the memories, and the tears all treated with the highest of honors and dignity. Today, on this, the Monday of Quotes, the Waking Den would like to share, in the same vein, a few words throughout the ages on people, peace, and the past…

Our country is not the only thing to which we owe our allegiance.  It is also owed to justice and to humanity.  Patriotism consists not in waving the flag, but in striving that our country shall be righteous as well as strong. 
~James Bryce

Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. 
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The real differences around the world today are not between Jews and Arabs; Protestants and Catholics; Muslims, Croats, and Serbs.  The real differences are between those who embrace peace and those who would destroy it; between those who look to the future and those who cling to the past; between those who open their arms and those who are determined to clench their fists. 
~William J. Clinton

Man is harder than iron, stronger than stone and more fragile than a rose. 
~Turkish Proverb

The past is our definition.  We may strive, with good reason, to escape it, or to escape what is bad in it, but we will escape it only by adding something better to it. 
~Wendell Berry


Just a Man & a timely Senryu

No martyr, in death

A shadow on a cave wall—

A symbol stretching.

Photo by and copywrite Rosa Frei, as acquired from last week's "One Shoot Sunday."

Just a Man

Lights erupt on

paved hearts and bloodbound screams,

the sound, the roar

breathless lines in broken


no words to mark

the dust in the wind,

the starlit flag

where planes and concrete fell,

bodies gathered in the mass

scarlet bloom

the flower of a shadow

planted in the towers’ ash

strains to desert sun,

painted by the people’s rage–

rots, like any other.

* My latest contribution to One Shot Poetry Wednesdays, obviously inspired by recent events. The Senryu derived directly from my send off quote on the night of the terrorist Osama Bin Laden’s death, and “Just a Man” followed early this morning. Both pertain to symbols, to mortality, with “Just a Man” adopting an almost cautionary tone…and I hope they stir some thought in my readers.