Perspectives of a Writer and Musician

Issues related to writing, publishing and playing jazz music: One man's muse.
by Al Stevens

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Location: Florida, United States

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Eagle of September

The eagle stood his perch that day,
He did not want to fly at all,
He did not choose to join the fray,
Where once there stood two towers tall.

They once were mine, he said, t'was planned,
These people who adopted me,
To be their emblem proud and grand,
To show forth for the brave and free.

They sang the praises of our land,
My spirit soared with every crest,
The words that made us understand,
That people free are people blessed.

But someone else tore wings from birds,
And reigned a terror from above,
With naught a thought to noble words,
Nor care at all for what we love.

They aimed full bore in evil roles,
Into the walls where people were,
Into a place that housed good souls,
Who knew not what would now occur.

The flames shot out, the smoke poured sour,
The structure broke and fell to ground,
And those who could not flee the hour,
Became but one with what rained down.

The eagle saw this awesome deed,
His people burned and fell and died,
And seemed at once no more to need,
His emblem of their soul and pride.

The fine bird bowed, his heart did ache,
He knew no more for what he stood,
What once had been his noble stake,
Was now a burned out neighborhood.

Is my new role to stand for naught?
Is there no more a place for me?
Is there no spirit left to guard,
No pride in what was well and free?

Oh how I wish so long ago,
They'd picked another, so he said,
To represent their lofty goals,
I cannot bear where this had led.

I cannot know the kind of heart,
That willingly destroys it all,
That kills and burns and takes apart,
And does it for some pointless call.

But as the smoke began to clear,
The eagle strained and looked ahead,
And with his vision without peer,
Saw stirrings midst the rubbled dread.

He saw some people still alive,
They hurried in to help the downed,
He saw their spirit, will and drive,
They scraped and dug the pillaged ground.

They saved a few, they mourned the lost,
They sent the word out far and wide,
They would not worry for the cost,
They would not sacrifice their pride.

They told the world at length and long,
Of justice, reconstruction, too,
They vowed to right this awful wrong,
And build anew what was askew.

They armed themselves with soul and right,
And promised never to relent,
Until the evil knew their might,
And knew the full weight of their bent.

The eagle felt himself reborn,
His purpose steady, n'er to wane,
His faith and duty proudly worn,
He flies above us, strong again.

--- Al Stevens, September, 2001

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