Poems Inspired by the Events 

of 11 September, 2001

Stephen Cachia

Defeating the Enemy

planes falling out of the sky
crashing into skyscrapers
thousands of innocent lives
is eye for an eye?
anthrax spores
sent through the mail
what's to come next?
we'll defeat the enemy
.victory or perdition or

had said the foolish beggar:
"but who's the enemy
if not the one within?"

but still they kept coming
with their planes
and bombs and missiles
and paper messages and aid packages
and tomahawks and tanks
and guns and cannons
and ammunition full of bullets
over the holy desert
of silent dreams and bones.

sings the mullah his ancient song
and Allah gets the headlines
on all international networks.

horror movie
plays through my mind
reality's doors closed
on all false lies.

says the beggar
"I'm afraid some lies are true"
and on he plays his eerie flute
while his foolish words are buried
under silent skies of sand.

The Ones who must Pay

I have an Arab friend
his names is Muhammad
is that a sin?
he has a black beard
black as olives from Palestine
is that a sin?
he wears long flowing robes
like the scirocco winds in May
is that a sin?
he eats dried figs
smelling of palms and dates
when he's not washing plates
or cleaning floors
is that a sin?

when he loves someone
he does it the Arabic way
now that must be a sin
and even his sparkling eyes
when he thinks of his mother or son or love
cast shadows of wrong doing
in the white man's heart.

how many sins there are around us!
how many sins are made!
dark monsters come each night to haunt us
when we close our eyes
and look for revenge
we thrust our blackest fears
on ones like Muhammad
and in the final act
we would gladly send soldiers
to slaughter his first born
and renew Herod's heritage.

how many sins there are around us!
how many sins are made!
but the way sins are made these days
poetry will die one day
of  heartbreak and apathy.

all verses will be forgotten
Bethlehem's generation will never read them,
the fool's words will be lost forever
and again the innocent
will be the ones who must pay.

24th October 2001

The Mask


what's under this skin?
there's another layer
if you dig deeper
really deeper
you'll see it all
the velvet moon
the purple skies
drumming in your head
going Boom Boom Boom.

psychiatry's primeval show,
javanese dancers around flames of desire,
sandy expanses on Jerusalem's lost plain,
blind prophets going insane.

I've seen it all
what's under this skin.
the legions
beckoning for rhythmn,
and the mindless critic goes to sleep
on a diet of pills and spelling mistakes.


the other mask
is only an illusion
- I know -
what's under this skin
are dreaming monsters on endless shores
cannibalising innocent stars.


infinity's vortex sucks up everything
the houses
the lovers
their promises
all swept away
for the sake of the ones to blame
they vanish into oblivion.

the romans were here
I was here
I know
under this skin
oblivion awaits
the silent masses.

24th October 2001

Kumment ta' l-Awtur

L-ewwel poeżija hija riflessjoni fuq il-ġlieda kontra
l-ħażen, il-"gwerra" qaddisa filwaqt li t-tieni waħda
hija kundanna bla riservi tar-razziżmu li hawn kontra
l-ġens Għarbi.  It-tielet poeżija, "The Mask" hija
riflessjoni fuq l-imgħoddi u l-ġejjieni ta’ l-umanità,
u x'aktarx hija wkoll l-iktar waħda pessimista għaliex
tintemm propju hekk: "oblivion awaits the silent

Stephen Cachia

Il-15 ta’ Jannar, 2002


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