portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article creative united states

9.11 investigation

Turning Out The Lights

A poem about 9/11
The morning the planes
Struck the tall buildings
A door opened up in the sky
Darkness came streaming down
Thick, tarry and as immutable as death
It entered the soul of a country
And poisoned the light

The dark thing came in
Through every door
Every window
Every crack and fissure
The dark thing came in
Through our eyes
As we watched our TV sets
It took root
An alien, dispassionate night
Smashing hope
Smashing love
Smashing faith

In order to save our freedom
We gave up our freedom
To keep the light burning
We turned out the light

The dark thing
is in the morning edition
The dark thing
is in church and synagogue
It is in our pots of coffee

The dark thing
is in our water lines

There is a pall over America
We march off to work
We march back home
We march to our slumber
We march like the damned

In Manhattan
In Los Angeles
Two tiny lgihts still shine:

"Wake up, America!
Come home, America!"

But the dark thing has spoken:

"Turn off the lights, America
So that darkness can reign
Turn off the lights, America
Let the killing begin."

Janet C. Phelan
"The Hitler Poems"
copyright 2005

phone: phone: (310) 755-4469