When Freedom Stands (Author Reading -mp3)

Babies are born and lovers lie;
We’ll make plans, when Freedom stands.
Do not let their stories die.

We teach the how, perhaps the why;
Teach to repeat, to ace exams;
Heart and truth would make them cry.

He stayed inside, in search of his brother.
The second plane hit, lens on his mother.

They put on their fire suits, knowing the worst.
They stormed the pilot; called home first.

Some got relief. Some got the wall.
Nine-thousand remains: nothing at all.

Heartbeats skip and minutes fly
like spy planes with capture plans.
And the dead cannot ask why.

It’s not the oil. Truly, we’ll try.
Allied lands, joining hands—
Empty space in our New York sky.

Babies are born and lovers cry;
We’ll make plans, when Freedom stands.
Do not let their stories lie.
Do not let their stories die.

The Twin Towers, copyright Heather Grace Stewart (2000) from the book of poems and photos, ‘Leap’ Sharing this poem and photo online is fine. Reprint for profit/charity — only with my permission. Thank you.



  1. knightsheart says:

    A powerful poem and tribute. Amazing the power it has spoken. thank you for sharing it.


  2. It’s been really inspiring to read so many poems about this day because as you say, we need not let the stories die. Wonderfully done 🙂


  3. You are so right an empty space in your New York skies one that can not be replaced again thank you so much


  4. hedgewitch says:

    That third short stanza really hits home, Heather. Great work all through.


  5. claudia says:

    no – don’t ever let their stories die…i agree with brian – a powerful write heather


  6. brian says:

    powerful powerful write…you bring out the humanity…but your two closing lines give breath to their questions…its not the oil…nice….


  7. Evelyn says:

    Im very stirred up by this.
    the reading really changes the poems, the happy way you say “we’ll make plans”


  8. Olivia says:

    Glad to visit you today again
    We treasure your input at our group poetry efforts and would be thrilled to see you again this coming Monday.
    Any poem is acceptable, simply share and enjoy…
    Keep writing, Keep inspiring!


  9. Olivia says:

    Very powerful- heartfelt message there.. 🙂
    well done My Dear.. i seems we love o harbor insanity as some goddamn religion!!

    Peace MyD Heather xx


  10. uma.a says:

    Powerful poem … a message to mankind.well written


  11. Jessicas Japes says:

    That’s very powerful. Nicely crafted with your choice of words.



  12. Reflections says:

    Wonderfully written tribute to those who lost their lives in 911… Twin towers memorial well done.


  13. Luke Prater says:

    Great poem. Very evocative. Is it a modernisation of a villanelle in any way? I write villanelles. Enjoyed the rhyme and repetition.. really my bag, baby. This week i got a rondeau and an English Sonnet….

    Great stuff, cheers

    Luke @ WordSalad



  14. Jingle says:

    Here is one of my entries, an award is attached, thanks for the support.



  15. Jingle says:

    a treat from you,
    thanks for sharing…

    princess Heather, welcome to Jingle Poetry!


  16. Tony Lewis-Jones says:

    Ur sound-file sent to the BBC at 00.31 GMT 11/09/2010.


  17. Tony Lewis-Jones says:

    H this quite literally brought a tear to my eye. Ur lovely voice, which is sincere and beautifully modulated, and this super piece – well, it’s a powerful combination. Regrettably I don’t know much about radio on ur side of the Atlantic – one hears that it is a little commercialised, shall we say – we have strict rules regarding radio broadcasting in the UK, even on a Station like Gold Radio, on which people will pay $1000 a minute to advertise, so that content must always come first.

    Anyway, what I was getting round to saying is that I can send this on the e-mail to the BBC at the drop of a hat – just say the word. I know u quite rightly want to make a fair and decent wage on ur work, and there is no way I would ever rip u off in any sense – u know this is true H, we have been friends for a decade, and what a decade – H, it is 1155pm GMT, and the BBC operate all thru the night here – only u can decide what is right.

    I am currently thinking of a moment in my life about 5 weeks ago, when my Poetry was read to 2 million people at 9am in the morning – OK BBC Radio Bristol have a smaller audience (prob about 300k on a Saturday morning), but there’s a lot of people who need to hear what is really going on in the minds of good people in North America at this time, people who don’t understand American motives, people who are fearful, and people whom I genuinely believe need to hear this, and know, that ‘America’ means well. H, let it be, as the song says.


    • T, my friend I’ve yet to meet,
      If you have a contact at the BBC who will play this tomorrow, by all means, please send it.
      This poem is not about making money. In this instance, I don’t care about making a dime.
      It’s the 11th tomorrow. Go ahead and send, and thanks for asking.
      It would be nice if they could play the sound file –me actually reading it–if possible.
      I’m working on reading at the CBC here soon.
      Thanks as always for your support and interest in my work.


  18. Larry Leitner says:

    First time I’ve listened to your reading of this. I don’t know how you got through it. I couldn’t have.


  19. Jingle says:

    I recall the 911 incident,
    what a heartfelt and powerful poem.


  20. alienhippy says:

    Just wonderful Heather….this gave me goose bumps. So lovely to hear you reading it too. Thank you for sharing this. Love Lisa. x


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