A Thought Continued

I was recently upset by the Gun Control initiative recently died in the Senate. I remembered the poem I wrote previously about my fear of guns and how strongly I dislike them. I decided to write a continuation of that thought and wrote past the first three stanzas of this poem. It works well as slam poetry, but I think it also translates on paper. This is not a condemnation of other viewpoints, but an expansion of my own.

Shooting Games

Somebody asked if I would like to shoot a gun
just for sport, a hobby out in the woods,
I froze.

I could barely muster up a No,
torn between feeling as though it were silly
to feel so antagonistic
but still the feeling in my stomach argued
with logic and I couldn’t bring myself to hold it
the cold barrel, heavy and metallic
and easily deadly, in my cold hands.
I could not imagine the feeling of power
and suffering and far too often
contained in something so small and toy like.

So I collected my words, uncomfortable,
waiting at the depth of my mouth, but stirring
in the pit of my heart and very calmly and politely said
“No, thank you. I’d rather not.”

You see, guns to me are not a sport,
but a family tragedy
where there is only a memory
of imagined gore
and unimagined fear.
An empty bench,
and a premature goodbye.

You see this week a gun control law failed,
and flailed in the arms of the senate
begging for the smallest of cautions
met with great resistance
and I can only cringe and ask
isn’t it worth the tiniest of measures
if just one time a shot
is stopped.

You see, this to me is not a great roadblock,
or even a steeping block to something bigger
but an almost meaningless precaution
taken to ease the pain of those of us
who have lost at the hands of those
wielding guns—see I am not naïve enough
to blame the gun, but I can blame it’s
overwhelming presence, and think
that maybe that small allowance
would give me small comfort when I think
of my father.

Because some days I sleep peacefully and restfully
without waking in a sweat, without seeing violence
under my eyelids, without cringing at images,
once indifferent but now unsettling.

Some days things are alright, but other days
I hold back the frenzy, like a shadow it follows me
sewn to my toes and mockingly dancing with pain
as it pokes at the back of my neck trying to get a rise.

No, I am not naïve enough to believe
that it’s the fault of the gun—I am all too aware
that the fault lies with the man holding it
thinking about ending life, isolated by
hatred, self-doubt, or unjustified motive.
I see a gun in the hands of someone giving up
on life and taking it by force
never mistaking a deadly weapon for
a water-filled harmless action.

So until then I will kindly decline to hold a gun,
something toy like and tragic in one
so often sold and easily bought and politely say
“No thank you, I’d rather not.”

Inaugural Address

Today is history
in the making, I saw
eons of hate and injustice and judgment
and pain wrapped in a cage–
still banging wildly on the bars
but locked and tightly knit
with hope.

Hanging on the words of a man
hoisted by desire for change
despite voices calling for a fall
and a nation holding its breath
in the storm of what is to come
and the wreckage of what has been
our story.

For so long–shrinking pockets
and a war waged from fear and
inequality for people like me and
people different from me but
in ways so slight and immeasurable
when it comes to life and
the news ringing with gunfire
every night at eight.

Today I teared up listening
as a nation came together
and whispered a prayer of hope.

Coffee Cup Poem no.84

Shooting Games

Somebody asked if I would like to shoot a gunccp84
just for sport, a hobby out in the woods,
I froze.

I could barely muster up a No,
torn between feeling as though it were silly
to feel so antagonistic
but still the feeling in my stomach argued
with logic and I couldn’t bring myself to hold it
the cold barrel, heavy and metallic
and easily deadly, in my cold white hands.
I could not imagine the feeling of power
and suffering and far too often
contained in something so small and toy like.

So I collected my words, uncomfortable,
waiting at the depth of my mouth, but stirring
in the pit of my heart and very calmly and politely said
“No, thank you. I’d rather not.”

Coffee Cup Poem no.83

On the radio I hear
cries of war, a distant
story of the gory results
of a bomb, far away,
and close in the speakers
of my car. I learn
of pots and pans
and water, still simmering,
on the stove. A family gathered
around for dinner,
a scene now eerily compressed
in radio waves.

The family’s clean house
now painted with dust and
fallen chunks of construction,
mixed with plasma echoes
in the reporter’s voice
over chatter of the clean up crew
shaking in a home, strangely quite,
I imagine. And still. How still
it must be now, life has gone,
and the only movement is
that water on the stove.

The bombs keep falling and
stories keep coming over
air waves and televisions.
The world is slowly quieting
as all over water boils over,
turns ichor and thick
and the stove is left burning.

Sometimes Wednesdays are Weird

Somethings in life are so addicting that they call for an ode. One of those things is SVU, with an extra helping of B.D. Wong. This is co-written with a lovely friend and blogger, Meghan, who I dearly miss due to her ongoing adventures in Europe. (http://itisonlyadoor.wordpress.com/about/)

The Law and Order: SVU Poem

Whoever thought these New York streets
would see a crime like this, so topical
,
so especially heinous. How many ways
can someone be raped?

A pithy remark– cut
to 
black– chung chung.

Ideology and sexual tension in squad room
debates. Did you see that innocent
bystander, boyfriend, mother, coworker?
A familiar face– perhaps a Tony
nominee– chung chung.

The interrogation goes too far. How
does Stabler still have a job? Nearly
kills the suspect. It’s personal.
He has five kids.
First suspect didn’t do it– we have forty
minutes left– chung chung.

Coffee Cup Poem no.66

Tornado Season

The sky’s swirl of ashen yellow is deceiving
as it tumbles between errie and beauty
and rain, once downpour, suddenly
fades to a drizzle–everything goes calm.

One can even hear the swallows
peaking out of shelter, only for a moment
to whistle a song of warning
right before sirens break tranquility

The sky inhales yellow panic
and exhales silver disaster
as Oklahoma takes shelter
today tornado season begins.

Coffee Cup Poem no.59

A Woman’s Complaint 

Damn woman’s body
how you betray me
once a month…
at least you’re on schedule.

I love my woman’s
soul
mind
touch
but blood?
I think I can do without.
My blood is now a public figure
to be prodded at and regulated
and I now see why Miss Sexton
cursed most our womb
despite her lust
for destruction
So much responsibility we did not ask for.
Life itself, human existance…
isn’t that what men seek to control?
Oh, how they try.
I know.
This hurt
I know
Could it ever attempt
to bother me without
so much pain… the headaches… simply less?

At least I used to know
where they were coming from,
from inside me.
Now, I’m not so sure.

Yvonne the Cow, My hero.

A while ago there was a story evolving around the epic escape of Yvonne the Cow from her death sentence in a German Slaughter House. Well, much to many people’s relief, the search was called off and Yvonne will be allowed to live out her life as a free cow in the forests of Germany. Here is a link to NPR’s stories about Yvonne. I wrote a Poem in her honor.

I wrote a poem in honor of Yvonne the Freedom Fighting Cow.
In sine distant forest,
Yvonne Roams
freed from the
slaughter house, the
rectangular grazing grounds
she called home.
I think of the cows
here.
In Oklahoma,
their grazing grounds
so like Yvonne’s.
Will they ever
break out,
cause a panic,
roam the wild,
as if living out God’s intentions?
What about the cows in
Iowa,
Nebraska,
Texas…
and England,
Africa,
China?
Will they too follow Yvonne into the wild?
Do they know,
by some divine grace,
her story?
Perhaps all the cows of the world
will migrate
and seek refuge
in India,
where they will be safe
from the factories
and the hungry mouths
waiting to be fed.
Lead your revolution, Yvonne.

Now that’s what I call Human

If aliens were to land on earth after it has turned into a wasteland and humans have obliterated each other, and decided to conduct a study of humanity hopefully they do not find this first:



or this,


Hopefully not this,


and definitely not most of the videos on this list (although some would not be embarrassing for humanity and entertaining for good reasons).


If these alien anthropologists do find something while browsing through the most popular videos of our culture, I would hope it to be this:


This video conveys the human capacity to love and appreciate nature, as well as a full spectrum of human emotion. This man cherishes and fully respects the wonder of nature. He is also not afraid to cry about it. Now that’s what I call Human.