A World With Guns Poetry Readings

Occasionally I write poetry, and when the spirit moves me these poems deal with the horrors of gun violence. When I came across a piece on Facebook about a series of poetry reading events across Florida to keep the conversation surrounding gun deaths front and center, I thought to myself, “Oh, I’d do this if an event was scheduled for Tallahassee.”

Scrolling down the list I read:

Oh. I see there is one here. Deep breath. Myself isn’t feeling all that cocky right now.

The thing is, I don’t know if any of my pieces are good enough to present. I’ve only ever read my own works in front of an audience once or twice, and then I shook so hard my teeth rattled.

What say you, friends? Is this one of those things I should allow to fall by the wayside, or should I jump in with both feet? Awaiting the wisdoms of my readers, especially the poets among you. Please be honest. I’d rather not make a fool of myself at this event.

Here’s one for your consideration:

Guns in Church

Will we take our guns to church now?

Jesus take the wheel, but leave me my pistol

Dylan Roof opened fire in a South Carolina prayer meeting

Now more dead occupy the pews in Texas

Just wondering which firearm goes best with Psalms.

Yea, tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil,

For I am armed with an automatic weapon.

No doubt lawmakers will offer meaningless thoughts and prayers

Their mantra sounding weaker by the hour

Who will answer for these deaths?

And here is another:

Guns and Thorns

the fetishists have cried,

“leave our guns alone!”

when no one has called

for their removal.

paranoid fools who fail

to see or care, cry time

and time again that any

move breeds futility

while still more innocents

die and we offer up only

thoughts and prayers.

Peace, people.

Author: nananoyz

I'm a semi-retired crazy person with one husband and two cats.

12 thoughts on “A World With Guns Poetry Readings”

  1. I love them both, young Leslie. Although…as you know…I am the non agressive atheist, I think, given the power that the US places vis a vis Christianity, you have taken the right route in using a religious tapestry behind your punchy, sometimes satirical words. If I were choosing just one of this pair I think I’d go for number one, by a nose following a photo finish. Best of luck, The Old Fool.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Both could work, but could use a bit more work. And your voice needs to be heard. So give it a shout.

    But Jesus?

    “The Gospel” has always been a target rich environment for trigger happy “Old Testament” types, as they’re quick to bullseye any sentiment of turning the other cheek, or beating swords into plowshares, or learning war no more. Heretical, they feel. Cuts against their view of the patriarch as hero. And without heroes there are no patriots. And without patriots, there is no nation.

    Many gave up that “Good Book” decades ago. Now, they worship a high capacity Magazine.


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, SNZ advised caution..but here goes.

    A while ago, I think I mentioned, on one of your poetry efforts, that you need to try the prose poem. You are a grifted writer, with a infectious sense of humor, and cut to the chase self-deprecation. You can set a scene and build a narrative. You are a joy to read. So tell me where is this a poem? Even if we, I gotta be, free verse, we need to bottom line.

    Who will answer for these deaths? Is a polemic.

    I wrote, over a decade ago:

    “Where prose suggests a paradigm shift, the poet suggests any paradigm is a lie. The narrative negates life because it connotes meaning is just around the corner.

    Poets argue understanding is circuitous, forever falling back upon itself, and that awareness arrives only when language is centered and the moment captured.

    Narrative pursues, poetry makes the arrest.”

    we share a pew and a prayer
and I like that you like that
    valley of the shadow of death,

    Shall we share a pistol?

    Jesus take
    the wheel
    Roof opened

    fire on devotion,
    and a Texas congregation lay

    Now most bodies at said and subject poetry reading will not need for the poem or poet to denote that one has commingled two separate events..feel the facts and facts that give feeling are what we’re rhyming for. Leave the list of particulars to those thoughts and prayers politicians.

    And speaking of rhyming, even a hint at it, a blush interior rhyme …excepting the “P’s” I chose to parade.. there is little, in execution or tone.

    Which brings me back to why I suggested the prose poem. Paragraph what you are feeling. And allow those feelings to trump structure. You are attempting to share a mood of a precise moment, not the marshaling of a movement. Forget punctuation, forget rhyme schemes, forget eye rhymes and alliterations. Engage with the true enemy of language…expectation. Pay attention to pacing. It’s a path.

    I so enjoy reading your posts. You know that. In that sprit, given.

    Bad Poem Master
    Doggerel, Delaware.

    Liked by 1 person

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