In 2001, the Taliban government of Afghanistan destroyed the two monumental Buddhas of Bamyan,
colossal rock-hewn statues that had stood for 1,500 years. Later that year, the Twin Towers - The World Trade
Center in New York City - were destroyed in an attack by Al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization based in Afghanistan.
I responded to this horror by writing a poem, which was published in Acumen, a very prestigious
British literary journal. I think this is the publication of mine of which I am most proud.
Victims of the Taliban
With obscene theatricality,
Death, noisily and on metallic wings,
flew into and became the heart of a city.
Huge twin stone gods,
giant idols hewn from a nation's prosperity,
were felled by men of contrary belief.
What spirit guided such atrocity?
What emotions drew the flight path
of such destructive anger?
The same that carved great Buddhas
from mountain blankness,
and caused rescuers to risk their lives among the ruins.
That spirit's imprint
cannot be erased from the mountain, its heart
cannot be taken from the city.