“Sea Eagle”, jane kohut-bartels, watercolor, 2001



That beautiful morning–

Teasing taste of early Autumn

The unthinkable happened

And our world stopped turning

I saw the plane, I saw the fire

I saw the smoke descend like

A blanket of blinding grief

Too late to spare those on the ground

The sight of Armageddon.



Mortar-grey people transformed

Into gritty moving statues,

Holding hands, blinded by smoke,

Move down streets where

Paper, bricks, metal, glass rained down

Like the Devil’s Ticket Parade,

Walked in silence towards the bridges,

Barely a moan heard,

An Exodus unexpected on this

Morning of such seasonal promise.


I saw worse.

I saw people jump

From the ledges, holding hands,

Some with briefcases

And all I could do

Was howl:


“I will catch you!

Jump into my arms

I will not drop you.

Do not be afraid,

Aim for my embracing arms,

With the last of my life—

I will catch you.”


That day of fire and ash,

Inexplicable funeral pyre,

Of brave souls rushing in

And frightened souls rushing out

And the ash, the ash, the ash,

Covered everything like a silent September snow.


Sixteen years later

Grieving when this day approaches,

I hear the words swell up in me:


“We will catch you!

Jump into our arms,

We will not drop you.

You will not be forgotten,

With the last of our breath–

We will catch you.”


Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 9-11-2011-2016, (This poem, “9-11” was published in “Pitcher of Moon”, and can be purchased at Amazon.com. Published, 2014)

We will not forget.  For many (most) of us, this was the first clue as to terrorism on such a  scale.   Fred and I watched as the second plane hit that tower.  May those terrorists and all that support their actions roast in Hell.  We will not allow them, regardless their country, to destroy the US.

Just a note.  My only boyfriend in Princeton High way back when, told me after 9-11, that he walked through the city, (he worked there…) and it was an exodus of grey and gritty people, silent, only a moan heard rare…and he walked until he found himself on the New Jersey Turnpike….and got home to Princeton.  God, we don’t write these things without the experience, the direct experience of others.  That puts the blood in the veins of our poetry. Thank you, Jerry…wherever you have blown to.

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16 Responses to ““9-11…..”

  1. Sherry Marr Says:

    I remember so clearly……and i remember the girls dressed as angels who walked among the mourners offering comfort.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Sherry. I don’t remember the girls dressed as angels but there was so much to remember then it was overwhelming. Thank you, Sherry. I remember when I first posted this, a snotty Canadian said that “We deserved what happened to us, because of all the people our bombs killed in Afghanistan.” May she rot in hell along with those terrorists. We lost a family member in the first tower hit. That makes it even harder to forget. Bless you with the gifts of our Universe, Sherry.


  3. kanzensakura Says:

    This made me cry and cry and cry Jane. And animals were lost as well. Daisy, a guide dog for a blind man was realeased when he realized what was happening so she could find her way to safety. Instead, Daisy came back leading his boss and a couple of other people and led them all to safety. When they reached the bottom, before he could stop her she ran back into the building. She did this three times leading people to safety. On the fourth trip, she came out and collapsed, dead of smoke inhalation. there are many heroes from that day, some of them still living, some with cancers and respiratory problems, some dead. God bless all of them and the survivors and first responders. And may God punish those terrorists and those who sneer at this act of cowardice saying that we got what we deserved with the wrath of hell and bombs.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ladynyo Says:

    Oh, Toni…..that story of Daisy made me cry. And yes, the victims and heroes were also animals. So many people today, right now…have Irma and Harvey on their plates with the evacuations, but even then, we should not forget 9-11. I agree with all you said. And God Bless the First Responders today who are leading and rescuing the victims of these two Hurricanes right now. I am pissed that people are so selfish to refuse to evacuate dangerous areas, but expect these Heroes and Heroines to come and save their asses. So many have died because of their unselfish behavior. And so many have caused the deaths of these by their own self-centered behavior. We have decided to send a donation to our local animal shelter who has taken in 100’s of cats and dogs from these two zones of destruction in the past two weeks and will continue to take in more. With 11 cats here and 4 dogs, I wish we had room for more. Bless you, Toni.


  5. kanzensakura Says:

    Bless you and Fred. Our animal shelters are becoming full from taking these orphans of the storm – poor sad things. Sometimes people are not always selfish though. some of those folk in Florida are elderly and more frightened of the devil they know than the devil they don’t know. My husband said he would ride it out if down there. I told him if I were with him, he’d ride it out alone. His stupid mother said, there should be zoning laws that keep high rises from being built in these vulnerable areas. Just like she and her husband didn’t spend months out of the year in their high rise condo at Myrtle Beach. Bah…..


  6. ladynyo Says:

    LOL! Yeah I know…stupid can’t be cured. LOL! Miami is overbuilt, indeed…and sinking. They never learn because it’s a question of profit…not safety. That’s a secondary concern.

    This morning I heard the minister of tourism from Antigua and Barbuda’s talking on NPR. His main concern was that tourists would stop coming and spending their $$$. It was pretty sickening actually, and Barbudo was totally destroyed. His concern was just that above. It will be a long time before people come back because there is so much more damage. The greed and concern of these ministers are amazing. The Minister (Browne) struck the right tone of concern and empathy. The reporter from NPR had to redirect this other minister back to the real issues at hand. He said: that was the ‘other’ island. All the damage. Yeah, 95% of Barbudo was destroyed. I realize that these islands only exist because of tourism, but really! He was talking about ports and rebuilding boat docks, etc….yet the people are suffering. What short sightedness!


  7. kanzensakura Says:

    Yeppers it is all about money money money.


  8. Maureen Sudlow Says:



  9. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Maureen. I don’t have words for the event beyond that poem. And words pale in comparison to the event,neh? We are preparing for a Cat. 1 tomorrow….moving up from Florida. But I couldn’t forget what happened those years ago. Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ladynyo Says:

    Yeah…and I am beginning to see ‘the root of all evil’ in this. Frankly? I was shocked by his ‘concern’. Bah.
    Oh, it’s cold up here and the sky is turning a weird shade of pink. And it ain’t the sun. It’s been gray all day.


  11. Frank Hubeny Says:

    The two stanzas starting with “I/we will catch you” will stay in my memory knowing I can’t catch them.


  12. ladynyo Says:

    I know, Frank. I know we can’t catch them. But what I saw, people jumping together….is burned in my soul.
    We can’t catch them, but we can try.

    Thank you, Frank. Thank you.


  13. Maureen Sudlow Says:

    glad to see that the hurricane is losing strength as it moves up your way xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Maureen. I’m not too sure, it hasn’t quite hit yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. sunmoonstar Says:

    This is still one of the most moving poems you’re ever written, Jane. I can’t add anything, your words said it all.


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Thank you, Nick! I still cry when I read it. I guess this is because it’s direct experience. We watched the second plane crash into the second tower, we watched news of the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania field crash. How in HELL did this happen. I think all of us who were there in some form,…will be scared for life…until the sharp memories fade…but that will take years.

    And yes, I HOPE I never have reason to write a poem like this again. It was a poem that took only a few minutes….it still feels gritty.

    Thank you, Nick…for reading and your kind comment.

    Jane xox


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