When A Mass Shooter Commits Suicide

I feel lost and helpless, out of control,

I cannot fathom the pain that is now endured

by the family, the friend, the community,

the loss of life so random and unexpected,

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

I’m left in a fury of angst and simple confusion,

I know the emotional drain of being human,

living out our purpose and striving to be,

and like Hollywood, just when we realize …

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

I think we all think about how a person’s day begins,

the same as yesterday, perhaps a sweet happiness,

or even probably the angst of having to be the machine,

another day of social squabbles and night’s end purpose.

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

All of these moments we’ve all felt together,

we know the sense of sunshine in the morning,

we understand the beauty of a co-worker,

the laughter of a memo, the reality of our family.

… and this has nothing to do with the shooter.

 

There isn’t a day when we are awoken

by the silly notion of our mortality, when thriving

seems to be our goal. There is no reaction

to the possibility our life will be taken with random …

…. AND THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE SHOOTER!

 

THIS PART has everything to do with the shooter,

because those lives, those people that were so important

to everyone far beyond the trigger of your cowardice,

deserve an opportunity to COME TO LIFE AND WATCH,

WATCH YOU SUFFER INDIGNITY, YOUR FLAWED PURPOSE ON DISPLAY!

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Lest We Forget, Again

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For we do that,

oh so often, we do

decide upon a beautiful sunset,

perhaps the rising moon,

a sweet snowfall,

even the rain of a heated summer day,

lets our mind return to the numbing

nature of a human condition

built upon,

the product of denial.

 

But we cannot,

simply look alive people,

please don’t shut your eyes,

there’s a movement,

and this time,

it is your children,

let their voices be heard.

 

Imagine telling a child

you may not skip class to protest

the death of your peer

by senseless gunfire,

imagine telling your children,

I don’t love you enough

to give a crap

about your well being.

Imagine telling a child

when you leave

I’m not going to imagine

a terrible outcome.

 

If we demand our children

stick to the implementation

of a day of lessons

designed in minutia

and instead

forget the very reason,

we brought our child

into this world,

then we have suggested

the concept of love is a fallacy.

 

We are at war,

and the eyes of a child,

certainly contain the heroic passions

of our every tomorrow.

name and faces

IMG_5125

 

I walked into my classroom today,

and the kids were being themselves,

I was thinking about their welfare,

wondering how many wondered themselves.

When I into their faces,

I’d seen them already,

splashed across the television screen

hanging in the living room of everyone’s home.

 

I wonder if it’s possible

to tell each other the same

that Billy & Frieda and Jennifer, well

all could be the victims of this,

insane response to

letting go,

allowing the human condition

a reason to justify

letting go.

 

We are told to be cognizant,

responsible for the well-being

of all of those involved,

being the students, the elders,

the parents, the faculty,

the community members,

school board and administration,

we’re always wondering who’s in charge.

 

Proven again last night,

on Valentines Day,

a new massacre for the ages,

a new realization that everyone

is vulnerable.

I looked at the pictures of the victims,

tomorrow when I walk into school,

I will watch them all walk the halls

tenfold in their similarity, their

human capacity, as living as is the dead,

we’re all faces in a crowd.

 

I wonder about the similarity

if we could recognize we’ll know each

other in another life,

if then

could we protect each other,

with basic compassion

and knowledge beyond

sensationalization.

 

the faces in the crowd,

are the same that make us proud.

I Looked In Their Hearts Today

I didn’t tell them as much,

you never can,

well you might,

I might occasionally want to shout,

I want them to know

I love them,

we love them,

there’s a lot of love when each one of them

walks inside my classroom.

 

I wanted to reach them today,

they couldn’t really feel the fear,

their days spent removed, fortunate,

isolated from the fury

that suddenly deadened their peers,

people they’ll never meet

one day they could have

if life had allowed

worlds to continue

beyond a gunshot, a bullet, the pain.

 

I wonder what goes through the mind of a student,

when miles away, sometimes blocks,

when it occurs

again,

and again and again and again,

and then there’s no tomorrow,

I wander through the streets hoping to find

a reason to say

you are completely safe,

but I can’t always say that,

I couldn’t say it today,

and I wanted to

say it to each one of them,

each one walking through my

classroom door.

I want you to know you are safe.

 

I can’t always say it though,

at least not today,

they’d think I was lying,

they read the news,

they know they’re not completely

safe.

They know,

much more than I will ever know.

The Problem with Guns, Pranks & Kids

Recently, the school district I work in experienced a social media crisis when kids posted pictures of themselves with the message — ‘Don’t come to school’ as we prepare to return to the classroom after the winer break. The problem is the students are holding what appear to be weapons — automatic rifles and revolvers — all of which have since been determined to be fakes and not real weaponry. The community is up in arms, and on social media parents are threatening to keep their kids home for the day rather than face the risk.

The local police department has issued a statement saying the students have been spoken to and the issue is resolved and there is no immediate threat to tomorrow’s school day. So I guess I will go to work as a teacher in my classroom, but I know I’ll look around and see a lot of empty desks.

There are a couple of directions I want to go with this commentary. The most important being the realization of how dangerous a precedent these students created with their ‘prank’ behavior. I don’t they realize the repercussions. I don’t think though, from reading the thread of reactions on social media that our society is ready to recognize the consequences of such a harmful act.

Guns scare people today, because their volatility, their immediate impact, their prevalence in schools is defined rather than speculated. The problem I have with these students making a joke of a serious issue is not as much themselves as it is the onlookers. Their joke could be someone else’s literal motivation to carry out a heinous act because it has been revealed and attention has been drawn to the idea.

I think the greatest fear of sensationalism is the action alone. Parents are reeling from this news, decidedly keeping their kids home. Some will eventually transfer schools. The community is frightened by the reality of this incident and this needs to become a teaching moment for our kids.

We cannot simply let it ride as a harmless prank. We must set a tone, and students need to know the seriousness of such an action. The students involved need to be charged with a terrorist act because they created an idea, a dangerous one, that might leave someone else intrigued enough to carry out what they thought was a joke.

We live in a suicidal society as it is. We cannot continue to give our students reasons to make poor and life-changing decisions that will impact their world for the rest of their lives.Our kids are being groomed within a throwaway society that is so impactful they have no idea the consequence that lays before them.

Gun-toting activists need to step it up and recognize this is dangerous behavior and not an over-reaction. Keep in mind, the gun could be your own.

When Once We Stood Together

Today I remember then,

only when

I cannot quite comprehend.

I know it was with intrigue

I wondered about time,

was this perhaps the proper sign.

I would look to wonder

each new design

a telling of a simple future.

Seems we all have a memory

whereby we might all recall

sweet passion was most kind.

We walked together as one,

hoping for the same,

a recognition of love.

Seemed rather simple at the time,

we all wanted it,

we all shouted the words.

 

Freedom seemed attractive,

easily attainable,

put a smile on all of our –

insecurities stepped in the way,

began to sway

the intelligent soul

toward shutting their door

no one allowed inside

any more, none anymore

we cannot help put pity

upon those we left behind.

 

Words are different now,

they speak quickly,

loud,

their tone misunderstood

or simply not concerned.

Sharply stated.

Rude consequences,

never really apply.

Today

instead of a polite retort,

we rather quickly

use a firearm …

the natural way they say

if a conceal and carry

is the way to go.

 

When once we stood together,

now we elude society

steady in the drum,

the lasting hypocrisy.

 

 

Haven’t Heard

I listened only long enough to fear,

the easiest emotion,

that moment when suddenly confusion, our lives,

becomes less about

being in control,

far more about wanting to

run away.

I want that,

more than anything else in the world,

I don’t want to be there when it happens.

I don’t desire definition.

Whether we begin to accept anything at all,

seems relevant only to those who might no longer need hope,

those who are the souls walking the earth tonight.

They are the ghosts in and around our mechanical antics,

fleshing out the reality of our lives,

while we with little regard for our own sanity,

struggle to understand just why hate needs to be a precedent

in our daily lives.

I cannot imagine the horror beyond my own intellectual

reaction

to all of the cruelty that exist outside my door,

outside yours, theirs, and wherever I walk tomorrow,

well that could be the right place again …

the wrong time doesn’t really have definition anymore.

~

Perhaps there is something to the purpose of faith

beyond expectation, beyond us, beyond me.