You vowed never to forget
Tuesday, September 11, 2001,
a business morning, workers rushing
to beat time clocks, when the first plane hit
between floors 93-99 of the 110-story
North Tower; it’s 8:46am, do you remember?
At 9:03am, a second plane hits floors 77-85
of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.

Nineteen terrorists on suicide attacks, hijacking
planes, a third hits the pentagon at 9:37am
and a fourth crashes into a field at 10:03am
in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. At 9:59am,
the South Tower collapses, followed at 10:28
by the North Tower. Do you remember where
you were, what you were doing when you heard
the news? I am sure you remember the grief,
disbelief, anger, distrust, misery, heart-shredding
pain these attacks caused.

Do you remember the chaos, falling steel and
concrete debris, fires, and dust everywhere.
Horror of human cinders, cries for help, and
do you remember the uniforms rushing in to
help, to do their duty to shield their community
from terrorists?

Firefighters trained to control flames,
ambulance workers trained to save lives,
and police officers sworn to protect and serve.
One minute after the first plane hit the North Tower,
police were dispatched to the scene, along with fire-
fighters and emergency service personnel. One minute.
Do you remember the photos of police covered in dust,
carrying survivors, mourning victims, their tears real?
I wonder if you remember how proud you were of them,
how proud of our city, state, and country.

Try to envision the pride you displayed in seeing in flags
flown everywhere, our red white and blue; bloodshed
from innocent victims, protected by blue uniforms.

“The mission of the NYC Police Department
is to enhance the quality of life in NYC by working
in partnership with the community to enforce the law,
preserve peace, protect the people, reduce fear, and
maintain order.”

Do you remember last week when you were captured
by the press marching in protest, flinging profanities
and middle finger threats at police officers there,
doing their job to keep the peace, to keep you safe
by controlling non-peaceful protestors?

Do you remember 9/11, Patriot Day, 2,996 victims,
25,000 injured, memorials of flowers and pictures
on street corners and billboards, the missing, the agony,
the loyalty of a united nation.

Do you remember how you said
you’d never forget…

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 24

There’s Still Time

There’s Still Time

Though I hear my internal ticker
tocking off the years, I remind myself
that it’s not too late to learn something
new, try something different, go places,
even just to take a closer look at what
I’m doing, what I need and want…

and I pause at want. The seconds tick by.
What do I want? I know what I need,
know my obligations, responsibilities,
aware of my time and financial budgets,

but what do I want?
I always wanted to learn to play piano;
take an overnight ride on a train; watch
a sunset on the beach; teach someone
to write, if even just their name.

I’ve often thought about learning
another language besides the crumbs
of French and Spanish I know. I’d love
to take a course on mural painting, not just
on tee shirts, shoes, and my garage.

I miss spending summers in the Amish
Country in Pennsylvania as a teenager;
driving east through vineyards
on Long Island; I miss going fishing…
and as I close my eyes and inhale,
I can smell the salt air, taste the sea
on my lips, and remind myself

that there’s still time but don’t wait.
Go, now, before I forget what I want.

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 23



bed warmer
comfort giver
storehouse of kisses
keeper of secrets
owner of an old soul
thief of my heart

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 22

Forgive Me, Muse

Forgive Me, Muse

Bless me, Muse
for I have sinned.

I intentionally
misplaced 4 commas
7 times,
stole an entire line
from Shakespeare
(like he’d know),
resorted to using
2 adverbs
and 3 clichés,
rewrote Frost’s
most famous poem
(I like mine better).
I defied Webster
80 times last week,
and I lied
in every poem
I’ve written this year,
and last year,
and all the years
I confess
I regret
none of it.
forgive me, Muse.

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 21

After Dusk

After Dusk

The library’s newest intern
tucks the last book into the stacks,
735.4, a slick plastic coating over
the 4-color cover; she taps the spine,
pushes the book into alignment with
the shelf mates, wishes the section
a good evening, pushes her empty cart
past the research desk to leave it behind
the checkout desk, waves a good evening
to her co-lovers of books; she shrugs into
her jacket and waves a misty so long
to her friends, those made of parchment
and glue, color covers, black text, worlds
of words waiting for minds to fertilize.
The lock clicks in the front door, lights out,
books leap from their places, jig over to
the travel section, hopscotch to audiobooks
in the children’s section, saunter to the saucy
romance section; a few find the cookbook
aisle, searching for the perfect pesto recipe.

Magazines and circular files square dance
in the custodian’s file cabinet, where he
stores a box of chocolate cookies, for
emergency use only. Britannica’s X and Z
sit beneath the exit sign, the red glow
of their longing to leave, to sweep the dust
away and soar into the future of blue skies
as crocus heads peek through snow mounds.

The dance of moon and stars moves across
the firmament, day star at the gate waiting
to rise above sleepyheads, lids yearning to
stay in dreams. A lock clicks and the books
return to their dusty homes, afraid to sleep,
to miss if it a hand comes to open their giving
sharing sheaves, to open minds ready to plant
knowledge, a learning, a lesson until the lock
clicks again this evening and the books
come out to play.

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 20

Media Outlets

Media Outlets

keep the tv off today –
no news
is good news

don’t bother with the paper
even the comics
are bad

turn off the car radio
why risk an accident
from breaking headlines

open a book
even a bad one
is a better choice

go sit in the park
bring peanuts
the squirrels are harmless

write a poem
title it Dancing Daisies…
we could all use some joy today

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 19



Hallways refrain from ceramic tiles
checker-boarded black and white
down academic paths, windowless,
board after board postered with events,
classes on arts and culture, tutors for hire.

Footfalls echo down hospital halls
walls painted a reserved color
that should be called hospital green,
silent nurse shoes rush to find the visitor,
to hush the intruder, wrong floor wrong hours.

Footprints across my forehead
stamped up and down, circled around
like tire treads tattooed – bad woes
bad karma, too bad for you
keep going I say, keep on walking
as I pass you by.

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 18

Sun’s Pajamas

Sun’s Pajamas

Hanging from a hook
on the tail of the moon
flannel 2-piece set
emblazoned with stars
and comets on an indigo

They hang on the dark side
of the moon during the workday
sun working, warming them,
heating us through chilled seasons,
perhaps overdoing it in summer.
Overnight, the moon takes over
works his magic to lull us
to keep the sun’s sleep.

Early morning
on my busiest day,
the sun sits on my bed
a light resting, a reason
to halt my hurry, make
me smile sun bright wide,
welcome me to sit beside
light rays that embrace me,
their center warming me,
warning me to slow down
so I don’t miss a message
hanging from the moon
without shadow.

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 17

Poem Brewing

Poem Brewing

A lemon wedge crescent moon
hangs from sleepy clouds
too listless to tiptoe across
the firmament,

instead it sheds pale yellow rays
through my kitchen window to
rest on my mug of chamomile tea,
a poem brewing.

~ J R Turek
June 28, 2020
Hour 16

Breakfast With Pop

Breakfast With Pop

Not your everyday ordinary grandfather,
Pop was my buddy. He and Mom, too young
to be called Grandma and Grandpa though
I tried once with Mom and was given a knuckle
to my forearm that left a bruise, they’d dance
arm in arm from the living room to the kitchen
as they’d busy themselves fixing breakfast
for my brother, Mikey, and me; we were
frequent weekend guests as kids.

Eggs sunnyside up, with grated potatoes,
diced onions, thin slices of meatballs Aunt Mary
sent over every night from across the street, and
she made the best meatballs I’ve ever had. Pop
would add three shakes of tabasco to the pan
and it sizzled. Mom readied our rolls with
margarine on one side and ketchup on the other.
Pop would put ‘boravought’ on his but not ours
or Mom’s, too hot he’d say.

Egg sandwiches remind me of Pop and Mom
and the ballroom dances that forever waltzed on
in their Richmond Hill house, and to this day,
I’ve never called hot pepper flakes anything but

~ J R Turek
June 27, 2020
Hour 15

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