World Trade Center 11 September 2001

We stood that morning on the 84th

Watching the Statue of Liberty

In that quiet mist of the earth’s freedom.

Our footprints have now burnt away

In a red ball of fire

Burning Nostradamic in the serene skies.

When man forgets man

We don’t need the Bible or The Koran

To swear our bloody prayers by.

All we need is a little warmth of flesh

To burn our crying lips upon.

 Our distantly crying lips

with no loving breasts

Left on earth to kiss.

 I remember that ball of fire

Painted red

Wet and 
burning with the blood of all our flesh.

Ballooning over the Atlantic

A quiet life line of breaking earth.

In every piece of flesh splattering over
the ocean

Breath the cries of children

Fear dyed upon their torn finger prints

A drop of 
the century rents the air

its million unheard sighs

Praying for the last miracle.

 That morning when we looked down fro the
World trade Center

At the embroidered fabric of the world

We saw the open breasts of Liberty

Green with all  their love for man.

Such fleshly green breasts humanity longed
to fondle with its heart.

We saw the blind eyes of Liberty

Opening on the foam

Of wet dust, of bruised dust,

Of man tainted by man in the name of God.

We kissed her pubes, we kissed her tears,

We kissed her spiked crown of thorn

That looked up at Jesus and Allah,

dear dear,Liberty.

 In her hands I  now see no 
bright torch of history

But twin cities of sacred earth burning.

I see the flaming World

Burning to ashes our white bats of peace.

 I down a glass of beer and search for ice.

I watch this mega movie of history

On earth’s darker celluloid

Directed without lights.

 Oh, a movie that will be in our hearts

Like Gone with the Wind.

The flaming winds of destiny.

 Even the ice cubes in my beer  have begun to light up

Making its own secret fire.

 There goes the plane , a sheet of razor

There lights up the million seeded cries.

Of the first petal of the new century.

I search the eyes of the Statue of Liberty

In the 
ever green of its glowing.

 O wide heaven, expanse of blue, oh God of
the blue sky

Do you not see the magnificent cries of
turning to dust

 Do you not see the man there waving  the Stars and stripes

Bleeding all over his weeping heart? From
the corner window

Of hot steel?

 Do you not hear the music of the child

The mother pressing the cry to her breasts

As though her breasts would open up like
secret tunnels

And mother and child could flee

From this moment of  clay executed in  morning glory ?


Look down at Manhatten

No more from so high!

 No more, no more, smoke billowing,

Trembling Manhatten!

No more of this castration

No more cryosurgery

For this bleeding city!

 This is the time that hashish and Brown

And Ecstasy mingled in the head

To breathe in the cocaine perfume of
burning earth

 I must switch off the TV and sleep now

This movie must get  over soon.

I must forget everything.

I must clutch the crucifix in my hands so
tight so

of Christ  bleeding again in humanity's  hands.

 I must forget everything’

If I switch off this TV I’ll not hear

The cries from  over the Atlantic

 The non believers crying

O, my Gosh,

The believers crying

Oh, my God,

My god, my God,

crying once again.

 And the child from across the road pointing
to the burning tower

And crying, mamma , come here and look

Great grandpa is dying once again!

 False moment, I do not wish to see your

Do not come near my sight again.

Flesh of man, as you stand before the
sacred fire

As though in deep prayer

As you burn your men huddling them together

you wear the blood you drink

You search the cemetry where you must lie
troubled for ever

That is not anywhere in the ruins of our

 There’ll be no more prayers tonight.

Only acres of lit candles

And wet hot wax that has not learnt after
all these centuries of weeping in churches

To cry without tears.

 And to teach us to know without ever
knowing still

For whom the great bell tolls.

 And so forever let me stand on the 84th
floor of the World Center

And let my eyes never again see

Blood trickling down  the evergreen breasts

Of Liberty.


The Zong

Gopi Kottoor's picture

Gopikrishnan Kottoor has won numerous awards for his poetry, including leading prizes in the prestigious Poetry Society (India)- British Council All India Poetry competitions. His poems have been published both in National and international poetry journals, and in Special issues on contemporary Indian Poetry in English. His selected poems from nine books appear in the collection ' Victoria Terminus'. His impressions on the concentration camp, Buchenwald, Weimar (East Germany) are cited as prayer in the reflective book by Barbara Franklin, of the ' Adorers of Christ, USA'. Kottoor's eleventh book of poems ' Vrindavan', a Radha- Krishna poetry cycle with 214 poems has won rare encomiums both in India and abroad. Kottoor has read and worked as invited poet in Europe and the USA.His book of poems ' Father, Wake Us in Passing' translated into German, (Wolfgang Heyder) appeared as a Laufscrift book choice (Martin Langanke). His oeuvre includes Novels (A Bridge Over Karma, Presumed Guilty), Plays ( The Mask of Death, Fire In The Soul), Verse translations (Puntanam, Kukoka), Editing ( Poetry Chain, A New Book of Indian Poems in English) Writing for children, (Wander) Lyrics, Scripts, Stories, Life style ( The Twelve Petals of Enlightenment) and literary reviews ( The Hindu Literary Supplement, Deccan Herald). His forthcoming books are Hill House (Novel), A December Night's Train (Script and poems), A Woman In Flames (Play) . Blog : Email : Reference in Wikipedia : Gopi Kottoor.

Last updated May 25, 2012