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I don’t know if I can write anything…

Mostly I want to be quiet
During this time.
Not be even a poet.

Mostly be not a poet.

Too many emotions to catalogue or articulate
Or hear
Or feel.


It is the day after
And I am so wiped out
I just want to be home,
Reflective,
Holding in my heart those still trapped,
With the others
Dead,
Crying,
Thankful my loved ones are alive…

Instead I drive 85 miles
To teach the arts to youthful techies
Whose hearts may be buried in the architecture
Of the supposed future
And it is useless, I think, to help dig them out:

I must try.
Even if it means my life,
I must try.

It’s the human way.

So I present the architecture of the Colosseum,
And my voice wavers when I tell them
That during the celebration of its dedication
2000 men and 9000 animals were killed.

And then I say that architecture is for art and for beauty,
Yet more than that
Architecture is for life,
Protection,
Today, from the elements,
Yesterday, from the enemies,
Moats and drawbridges and walls and walls and walls.
Now, suddenly,
Today is Yesterday:
There can never be enough fortresses.

Do we never progress?

I think of my children, of my students,
I think of
Everyone,
And I think to myself--
As my students wait for me to speak--
I think,
Please, Someone, keep us safe.

I take a breath and say,

"Architecture is not for killing.
It defines space for sanctuary; it is
‘Frozen music,’ Frank Lloyd Wright said,
Describing its composition, the rhythm of its design,
Though I think it also can mean that
Architecture
Transports us and keeps us
Safe in that haven
So we can work and love and play.

Architecture is for love.
People are for love."

I am silent.

We are all silent.

In the silence--
The darkened space--
We look at the only light in the room,
A computer-projected image of the classical ruin,
Yet I know
Each of sees other ruins--

Those of world trade--

Innocent lives for innocent lives.



I check my watch.
There is time remaining.

I’ve done what I can behind these walls
For today, and maybe even something
For tomorrow.
I open the blind.
Sunlight overpowers the feeble projected image.
We blink and shield our eyes.
I switch off the computer and say,

"Be kind.
That is all."


I drive, 85 miles, home
To my children—
Our children
Waiting.

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