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Thursday, July 20, 2006


by Carol Elizabeth Owens

"We are desperately trying to evacuate and have become more and more disappointed and angry with the way the evacuation is being handled. These operations are taking place in a war zone." (Jul. 19, 2006 Americans to Leave Lebanon by Friday)

"Katrina exposed serious problems in our response capability at all levels of government." (Sep. 14, 2005 The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina)

"I just want to assure the American people that, one, I've got the authority to do this; two, it is a necessary part of my job to protect you." (Dec. 21, 2005 Bipartisan Call for Wiretapping Probe [quoting, Pres. George W. Bush])

the crime
scene's natural.
disasters such as war
and widespread poverty seek peace
in far away places.
refuge eases
the pain.

it's hard to grasp
as everywhere you turn
there are these bright red webs. their tape
tends to make people stop.
getting unstuck
takes time.

grows virtual--
it vanishes, moment
by moment, like a fuse in wait
of an explosion's end.
warning signs call
for swift

and government
struggles to line things up.
connections, often, are not made
to the importance of
planning exits
en masse

Carol Elizabeth Owens is an attorney and counselor-at-law in Western New York (by way of Long Island and New York City). She enjoys technical and creative writing. Her poetry has been published in several print and virtual publications. Ms. Owens loves the ways in which words work when poetry allows them to come out and play. The poem "an escape hatch chronicle" is written in a form called eintou (which is West African for "pearl," as in "pearls of wisdom").