Delores Fisher on stage at Claire de Lune Coffee Shop
That fateful September 11, 2001, world viewers watched their televisions, numbed by disbelief. Others listened to radio broadcasts in anguish, or frantically logged onto nascent social media sites that now supply us with almost instantaneous information as long as the signal holds. It happened on American soil and claimed the lives of people from all over the globe.
At the time, in 2001, I was a more active member of the San Diego poetry community-- teaching less, performing and writing more. Poetry was happening nationally. Performance poetry was "sic." Slamming was off the hook. With the rise in word-craft, serious voices started to emerge. It was what one said, not how one said it that began to capture our attention. Many of us were becoming conscious, reading previous generations' socially engaged poetry, dialoging in community as opposed to competition, reflecting on our impact as artists and people. Poetry for us was more than pretty words and pump it up ego stroking boasts. Poetic Brew nurtured by poet Cheryl Latif and passed on to host Marc Kokinos was one of many open mic hot spots. San Diego had a nationally known poetry gathering when Poetic Brew moved to Claire de Lune Coffee Shop.
A new Poetic Brew poetry reading in San Diego sponsored by the San Diego Writer's Inc. is hosted by Eber Lambert.
3015 Juniper Street San Diego, CA 92104
But I remember the old poetic Brew and that night of the 9/11 memorial.
Images, emotions from 9/11 and its aftermath stirred a deeper understanding of and empathy for those who lived through Pearl Harbor. One evening that week, an email came from poet Marc Kokinos, host of Poetic Brew. In essence, this was his request: Could you be part of our memorial? I am asking several of us to try to be strong and to help with this. People are angry, grieving, hurting, filled with conflicted emotions.
I almost said no. But because many of us in San Diego's artist community were evolving, deciding that the arts could be used to create a "place" of healing for others who are not in expressive arts, I hesitantly accepted and began to write.
Claire, the owner of Claire de Lune Coffee Shop, generously opened her space as a refuge. We gathered for the memorial, opened our hearts to a capacity audience. We read poems, played music, talked, cried, held each other, and prayed.
I offer my poem once again for those who grieve while acts of war continue . . .
Linked humanity rising, remembering,
In memoriam, September 11, 2001.
We gather with one resolve:
In communal concord,
We offer concerns and thoughts
Sharing loss, grief, sorrow, pain
Offering confusion, anger, denial, fear
Seeking insight, restraint and guidance in acknowledgment of vulnerability.
An artistic locus in which to manifest
Regenerative, meditative engagement with this. . .
volatile tempest that continues spawning weeping in seemingly unending global swells.
Overflowing the shorelines of our lives...
An artist’s assemblage in angst
Linking the harmony of our fragile corporeality
As we generate a non-temporal refuge
To embrace grieving: liminal, passive, and active.
Offering gifts-visual art, word, song, and movement,
Breathing clarity into chaos through human creativity,
This, our Sanctuary: a spirit space.
A ground to cultivate healing . . . .
We gather here in unity
Dona Nobis Pacem,