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Updated: Apr 2

There’s a smoke cloud

Hanging over the shore

Staining the blue sky

A wispy orange gray

It screams silent but loud

Shaking me to my core

As I lift my eyes

Throughout the day

How can I sing

My usual songs

Of exile and love

Of redemption and faith

In a time when all things

Are twisted and wrong

And while floating above

Is that ethereal wraith.

There’s a death pall

Not blocking the sun

Not obscuring the summer

But coloring the air

I hear voices call

All screaming as one

But too many to number

As I offer a prayer

And I keep driving toward

The place I need to go

But perversely aroused

I stop and I stare

And while I must move forward

Steady, however slow

I keep looking at that cloud

And I think of how it got there.

Now the sun has gone down

On this day without sense

But the cloud still drifts

And floats on high

It hurts and astounds

To speak in past tense

But the present shifts

In the bat of an eye

And when the dawn comes

The screen may have faded

Its malevolent stain

Replaced by the shine

Of a new morning sun

The smoke dissipated

But the image will remain

Forever burned in my mind.

©2002 The Hesh Inc./Reality Shock Music

"The September Cloud" - original AI art by The Hesh Inc.
There’s a death pall, not blocking the sun, not obscuring the summer, but coloring the air.

The song is my response to the events of September 11, 2001. I don't think anything more needs to be said beyond my feelings expressed in the lyrics.

The lyrics came first, two days later. My first attempt at a song came out stilted, as I tried writing about the actual events, so I shifted gears and wrote about how I felt about it using the smoke cloud as the main image and metaphor. The following weekend I recited the lyrics, sans melody, at a gig in Asbury Park. The music came sometime within the next few months, as my musical partner Izzy Kieffer and I decided that we needed to include a song about 9-11 in the album we had been busy recording throughout the previous year. We had already finished the tracking and had begun mixing, but we decided to hit the pause button on the mix until we had tracked this song. We came up with the music by taking a song from our previous band's setlist and tweaking it a bit. This was the result.

Listen to the song here:

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