We Cannot Look Away: Not another 17, not another One

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This is a collaborative poem written in the aftermath of the latest mass shooting in America. I’m grateful to have been including amongst this group of powerful poets – JWL

Just another day
just another town
bullet perforated backpacks
spilling loose-leaf lined paper, textbooks
onto blood stained sidewalks
helicopters hovering
to give us the birds eye view
I tried to avert my eyes
out of respect for the dead
the injured
but I could not look away
Christine Ray

Even though I should
Because I am ashamed
At the bullets that rain
At the bullet point pain
Etched in their faces, rivulets in their eyes
They were just children, stolen from their time
Not forgotten in these lines
But to their parents and loved ones
It’s a void they’ll never fill, and it shouldn’t
Lives shredded and ruined
17 times we’ve gotten the chance to do better
and for the 18th, we blew it
Just like those children who looked at their killer

Their killer is not Nikolas

The Killer is you
Devereaux Frazier

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The Night I Heard the News

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For Karen S. Leys (1952-2018)

And then
You were gone.
A spark of anger
That I missed the chance
To see you one last time.
And then the reality…
Out into the night,
Cool air on my face,
Walking with no destination,
Thinking, processing the news.

Collapsing into the arms of family,
Gripped by siezures of grief.
You’ve gone
Where I cannot follow.
Gone, never to return.

They tell me you’ve gone
To a better place,
But what place could be better
Than one in which we’re together?

2/18-2/20/18

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Haiku Written While Looking Out My Dining Room Window

Blue skies patched with grey
Naked trees, a winter breeze,
The birds are singing.

2/10/18

Time is Relative

the-persistence-of-memory-1931

The clock ticks
From morning til night.
One moment dawn light
Warms young faces,
Training wheels, and zoo trains.
The next, cold winter shadows
Fall and grow
Under the west setting sun.

Calendar pages fall away,
Torn, faded;
Yellowed by time,
Littering the ground
Like sun dried maple leaves
In October.

One by one,
Two by two,
Faces fade into twilight skies.
Passing away down trails
We cannot follow,
Until the day we do.

2/2/18

The painting pictured above is The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí.

Unseen Pain on Brave and Reckless

I am very pleased to have my poem Unseen Pain posted on the Brave and Reckless blog as part of the Living with Invisible Illness challenge.

When I park my truck In a handicapped spot at the store, And hang my handicapped placard in the window, I purposely walk with an exaggerated limp That on most days is not natural, And try to avoid the judging eyes of fellow patrons, Who cannot see that the worn down insides Of my prematurely […]

via Living with Invisible Illness: Unseen Pain- John W. Leys — Brave and Reckless