Poem: Walls


Behind a wall

are sounds I do not

always know

The green trees

I see

hide voices rising loud

above souped up

cars

it sounds like shots

into the crowds

the wall

hides it all

Some walls

stand by

silently

in between

those wanting to come near

and cross beyond

while others wait

to make sure they can’t

while creating waves of fear

And some walls

make people

cry

and pray

and touch

their mourning souls

while their hands

slide upon its

limestone sands

We hold walls

inside our

complex selves

to play

hide and seek

from

real life beasts

who have come

to reside within

and we crawl inside

a darkened

crack

laying still

hoping it will not

find us

Walls

keep in

and

keep out

yet

quiet stones standing

as humans fall

fall

fall

 

 

 

 

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Poem: 17


One more sick

abandoned child

take Lucifer’s hand

and go Heaven up

to rain down wild

with hate no heart

Your Mother left dark

Father a hole

nothing you took

would fill your soul

The world now turns

17 lighter

Shattered and sadness

killing the gladness

Add to the countless

that suffer their fate

The spirits gather round

holy disquieting gate

for they wait

in bloodless shock

as the next enter

their flock

 

 

 

 

Reality Shootings


It’s not surprising (to me anyway), that our society is crumbling under an opioid crisis, people suffering from mental illness or comfort eating and heart disease, plus all the many other myriad diseases and problems afflicting us nationally.

One answer seems obvious to me, part of it anyway. Many of us are suffering from PTSD and survivor guilt.

With all the horrible events that have been going on now for years, and I repeat, years—our brains are inundated from the media and our devices by the trauma of seeing the scenes of these events. Many years ago, we rarely would experience the raw horror that we do now–first hand (sometimes from a phone of someone right there): the noise, the blood, the screams, the carnage. And not just once, but over and over. How much can the brain  handle, day after day, year after year, without going over the edge? Mine is certainly on overload.

What is PTSD? It is caused by the triggering of traumatic events: disasters, abuse or any kind of trauma. It can happen when someone you love has been harmed also. Normally we don’t experience it ourselves unless we have been through the event, but what about now? Do you think it’s possible seeing footage from the phone of someone who was actually there during a shooting, would this do the same thing to us? How do these ‘pictures’ stay in our minds: people falling from buildings, human blood everywhere, kids running from a school or actually watching someone being shot…

Let’s face it people, if you are at all caring about your fellow human being, this can’t be good. We are pretty much experiencing these things as though we are there. It’s like reality shootings. Maybe they’ll make a new TV series. They might as well for as much as they play the stuff–and we watch.

What does all this watching do to us anyway?  How does it make you feel when you go out somewhere (or maybe you don’t even want to)? Do you check where the exits are now? Does your heart rate go up if you hear something weird? Are you simply numb to this stuff now? Are you mistrustful of others? Do you feel sad a lot?  Can you sleep at night or have your dreams changed? I know I have been greatly effected by the heinous crimes crushing our country.

Even if we weren’t at these places, we can’t help but feel: why these people? As we pour through their stories, it makes our story feel somewhat meaningless. When it’s a kid… there’s a collective: why so young and what if was my child? It’s so chilling.

And the roulette guilt of: I’m here, they’re not. I’m enjoying my life, those poor people aren’t anymore. My feelings of gratitude just get ruined by the extreme senselessness of it all. It’s just hard to hold those two feelings in the same space.

It’s all this nation wide secondary guilt because nothing is being done about it. We all just sit around waiting for the next one to happen, because we know it will, while law-makers tell us now isn’t the time to talk about any changes in the laws. It’s all so frustrating! So we just wait…holding our breath and wonder where will be next. What venue? How many? What city? Is there a person out there now contemplating it…?

How’s that for your health, while we think: will it be me next time or my kid? That makes my heart thump. This is why I don’t sleep. What about you?

So I ask: do we really need to see this stuff so much? Is it only me that thinks the perpetrators may sometimes do these things because they understand they will be glorified by the media? And all of us watching and watching and watching… Their sick moment of fame.

I’ve made a promise to myself: I will watch no more (or listen or read). What if none of us did? What if we heard about these awful things and said prayers for those dead (and their families), but didn’t pick up our phones, or look on our computers, or shut off our TV and radios? What if we refused? Could we demand from our media sources to stop flooding our minds with such gruesome images and sounds? Instead just report the facts and move on.

Sadly, I can’t seem to create change to laws by my vote, but I can do this one thing instead. It’s something that I do have control over: to reduce the bombardment of the grisly media show to my brain. And by doing this, allowing more space in there for good energy.

It’s ultimately up to us. I’m not saying we can stop people from killing, but maybe we can stop ourselves from becoming a more ill society than we already are, and if we do, maybe this in turn will help in the long run.

Poem: Shot & Other Sadness Thoughts


They are gone

yet we tread on

dead-eyed zombies

feasting upon what they left behind

Their flickering ghosts

flash upon screens

and disappearing voices

echo to screams

yet we watch

holding

their dying dreams

***

I was handed my sadness like a suitcase when they pushed me out the door so long ago. It has been with me since then; something I hold near me as a reminder of the pain. But it is also a gift. A beacon to see pain in all other things. I carry that with me too. So this is why I will never truly feel at peace–not fully. Only tiny bits, at moments here and there. Because what I am meant to carry is a story of sorrow. And this sorrow gathers sadness and pain within it and to hide in the crevices, unreachable, forever.

 

In It Together


Complacency in today’s world, in my opinion, can be a dangerous thing. It’s not the same world it was when I was a kid. Sadly, I believe this to be true, while others choose to stay in a dream world.

The Internet, along with high mobility and  huge numbers of people, easy access to weapons and drugs, the fracturing of communities and the scattering of families make it easy for humans with harmful intent to do their business. And somehow, in a world of discontent, poverty, pain and disharmony–there seem to be a fair share of these types these days.

And they are everywhere it seems: sometimes lurking within our own work places, often disguised, at first anyway, as one of us. They may appear like the rest of us, just doing their job, until the day comes that something doesn’t go their way. That’s when the darkness in them comes out: whatever pain they may feel makes their true heart appear.

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If we’re lucky, they may only steal something, like we suspect someone did at my job. And then they just won’t show up anymore. They may get away with something. This makes them big shots. Or at least they think so!

But then real trouble, in my estimation, comes into play and that’s our complacency not to act! If we have a fairly reasonable suspicion (and maybe even some proof) that some crime was committed, then to look the other way is a crime itself. Because this is how the little things become big. The petty theft that the co-worker gets away with can become something greater at the next job. And who knows how much greater? I’d imagine it can become like a dopamine rush…an addictive sort of thing even.

In these trying days we need to think like this  guy. How they are raised to hero status in some ways by the media and some of them may feel justified by their acts. “The world owes me!” For us to simply turn our heads and say: “whew, he’s gone now because he was trouble…now he’s someone else’s trouble” is not only negligent but a reflection on the world today.

This kind of myopic thinking is contributing to these horrific events we read about. How many could be stopped if people didn’t stick their heads in the sand beforehand? If people who saw these individuals engaging in unusual or specifically criminal behavior and push the point? And I mean the managers of the companies who have the real power: the ones looking at the tapes, making the phone calls, speaking with the individual and monitoring the behaviors. Just to turn away and pretend none of it happened is like participating in the crime itself.

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This all is just another depressing aspect of today’s society. I’m sure this young man is suffering somehow. He may not be a true criminal, but someone who has strayed because of the usual breakdowns one faces in life’s path. We all make choices and his aren’t the good ones for sure (if indeed he’s guilty, which I do not know). But these stories are a dime a dozen today anyway.

The point is we all are partly responsible for this guy if he’s guilty: for why he did it in the first place and for ignoring it after. Because for us to be really human, we have to all be in this together.

Twas The Night Before Christmas…


It’s Christmas eve and I sit in a house empty of humans. I’m surrounded by my three dogs. I’ve just checked my Facebook and am dismayed to see, once again, the tragedy that has crashed around this world. Close to home a fellow EMT and past Chief of mine just lost his brother and niece to a house fire. And the other family members are now recovering in a hospital from smoke inhalation. They also lost their home. An incredible tragedy–and right before the holiday.

Also two fire fighters were called to a home where they were shot and killed by a man. He was a convicted killer, having killed his grandmother years ago. He was out from prison. Now their families have lost their loved ones this holiday season. Not to mention the countless deaths around the globe that happen on a daily basis.

I had a very small get together tonight and I realized that much of our talk revolved around depressing talk. Gun control, kids dying, mental illness, and how life has changed. It was all sad and unseasonable! Why is the holiday season like this now? Why is life like this now? And how can we/I change it?

It will be a new year very soon and I refuse to be sucked into the maelstrom of fear and sadness. We as a collective group must stop this conveyor belt that we are on. We must believe that we can get back to the days of innocence, joy, trust, and happiness. If we can individually start believing and send a ripple through to the next person and on and on, then it can become reality.

So that is my Christmas wish and my hope for the New Year: to live my life in joy and peace. To do the things that make me happy and spread that happiness to others. I will try hard not to be upset and Iwill live without fear. I will face each day with the hope that my fellow humans will want what I want too and that the world can slowly start to be a better place.

Merry Christmas.

Giving Up Our Rights…


Working in a fire station, we have had so many interesting discussions lately about the terror in Newtown, CT. Many of my co-workers and fellow EMT’s and the fire fighters that work with me own guns. Many guns and some like the weapons used in the shootings. So this has opened discussion about guns, gun safety, gun laws, personal protection etc. Sometimes the discussions get heated, but so far have remained respectful. I ask  because I really don’t understand or get the love of guns. I truly don’t! I’m not being funny or an activist here or anything. I simply don’t get it.

I’ve been a vegetarian and a pacifist for many, many years, so I respectfully just asked my colleagues to explain the need for all their weapons and ammo. Each had different reasons actually, and each had a different reaction to what should be done now in the wake of the horror. All agreed it was horrible, but not all thought gun laws should change. Some took pause and wondered if they should sell some guns, others staunchly said never. Some may buy more.  But discussion always included the fact that guns were not the main reason this happened. And I agree.

Almost anyone agrees that multiple factors were at play to cause this tragedy. And we can never 100% know the reason. But the question I wonder about now is how our rights as citizen’s get curtailed, taken-away, or changed based on death, tragedy or bad circumstances based on someone’s behaviors? I was trying to point these things out to my co-workers: it’s not only gun laws that change in light of awful things, but other freedoms.

One I think of right off is buying things like Sudafed other ephedrine type substances. There was a time you could just go into a pharmacy and buy packages right off the shelf…a few packages if you want. Until meth labs starting using it to make crystal meth. Now an ordinary citizen must go and ask a pharmacist for it behind the counter, and I would imagine if I asked for too many, a red flag would fly up! This seems to me an infringement on my freedom. But it’s in reaction to bad stuff that’s happened. The government felt it had to step in a do something about it. Just like they are doing now about the gun laws (or talking about anyway).

We could use drunk driving also. The laws in place for this too. And making cars safer as so many people died. Speed limits lowering, seat belts, airbags, car seats, blah blah. Are these my rights being curtailed? Maybe I should be able to drive 80 everywhere? With no seat belt or anything. Maybe I don’t want to pay for safety equipment in my car? Do I have a choice? No, I don’t. As a kid I used to lay on the back seat of my parents car! No one thought twice about it. Not now.

My point is, we all make sacrifices as life changes, people change, society changes. Is society changing? Are we getting colder, harsher, meaner, more callous? Are semi-automatic weapons more prevalent and being used more for mass shootings? Are there more mental health issues and are these people not getting the help they need? Is TV, the computer, video games helping young people to be more violent? Is it time for our government to step in and curtail rights and for us to make sacrifices for the greater good? We have done it before. I don’t know…but I am asking myself these questions. And I’m asking others these questions too. I truly hope that before people just say no, I will never  put my gun down, or I need 10 more guns now, they will at least think about some of these questions. The only way we can heal as a society is if we collectively try.

Please, tell me what I need to do so school children don’t get murdered again and I will be happy do it.