THE DIVINE SHADOW
It began as a day like so many,
Unremarkable, a sunrise that would
Follow Apollo’s path until sunset
And then people would return
To their nights of sex, or sorrow,
Or possibly both.
We did not see that the cloudless sky
Would bring a new darkness, a horror
That was both nameless and faceless.
There was the sound of thunder and steel
Shattering like a child’s plastic model.
There were screams and pleas and no one
Could find solace at what at once seemed
Like the fall of Rome and the End of the World.
For our world of imagined invulnerability
It was the end. It was the end of all our illusions,
It was the fall of a divine shadow, a day when
Terrible new gods walked the earth and exacted
Vengeance while remaining invisible to those
That could only watch, and wait, and weep.
Truly it was the beginning of the 21st Century,
A beginning of blood and pain and death.
In thousands of homes families would be forever
Destroyed by the events of the day, a day that
Had marked so many endings
That in the end there were not words enough
To encompass it.
—from Rattle #17, Summer 2002
H. Daniel Hettmannsperger III: “I began writing where George Orwell left off, in 1984, when I was sixteen. I am driven by a desire to create poetry that combines my three great loves: history, mythology, and philosophy.”