I have been travelling to New York City now for over 20 years. It is a wonderful place of soaring architecture, culture and history. My first trip was way back in 1997 and I fell in love with the soul of Manhattan instantly.
The city always held a very special place in my heart, I felt very much at home there, and I like everyone around the world remember sadly watching in disbelief when the attacks of September 11, 2001 unfolded on the television.
I returned to New York around 2 weeks after the attacks out of support for the city I had adopted as my own and remember with great sadness the stories of the people who had witnessed this first hand, visiting the Word Trade Centre Site were once two mighty towers had stood and seeing that moment, that attack, as the moment the world changed forever and a new darkness was cast around the globe.
I shared my memories in my recent publication “Fly-Tipping,” when I recalled standing on the corner of North Moore and Varick Streets in the Tribeca neighbourhood in true silence. I had become good friends with guys who worked there on previous visits and the visits immediately after the attack ,and was sad to find out that they had been among the first responders on that awful day and the prices some had paid for doing so.
So, it was with great emotion that I returned this year to visit the folks at Hook and Ladder 8 and share my poetry with them, in particular the poem “Thoughts On A Tribeca Street Corner” which I had dedicated to them.
It was an amazing experience and the guys working there now were very accommodating and generous, along with being very moved that I had taken my time to do this and honour them. They were grateful when I gave them a copy of the book along with a poster of the poem that they are going to frame and hang in the fire station.
It is always moving when someone appreciates your work as a writer, but to know that my work is now hanging in Hook & Ladder 8, directly across the road from the corner where the piece was conceived is particularly moving to this author.
“Fly-tipping” itself deals with the themes of writers and catharsis, and it is with a big smile that I now think that I fly-tipped my poem, right there in Tribeca and it has been taken by someone else for display in their workplace. This endorses the theme of the book in so many ways, and as I writer, I am so wonderfully proud that the people I intended to honour by writing about them have now done me the greatest honour by displaying my work in its cultural and emotional home.
I look forward to going back in years to come and maintaining my connection to that place and feel overjoyed that a piece of my humble writing adorns the walls in a building filled with Heroes in Tribeca.
As a writer of poetry, I can think of no better accolade and will always feel blessed that my life and my writing have given me this opportunity.
Thank you to all the men and women at Hook and Ladder 8 New York, your actions have inspired a writer and now you have honoured him more than you could ever understand.
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