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.

Spring for Some

Spring for Some

By Leslie Noyes

Spring comes early in Florida.

Flowers blossom and the grass grows taller. Bees pollinate, birds court, squirrels scamper. It’s a time of life and renewal.

But as I walked around my yard today taking these photos I was overcome with grief. Surrounded by this display of life in bloom, I stopped to pray for those whose lives were cut short by a gunman last week in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people who won’t experience spring’s beauty. Young people who will never get to hold their own babies or experience the joy of being a grandparent, growing old with their spouses. I prayed, too, for their families whose lives will never be the same.

One individual with a high-powered rifle ended the hopes and dreams of 17 people in less than five minutes. Was he mentally ill? Perhaps. Did society fail him? More than likely. Did numerous agencies fail to do their jobs? Perhaps, but until someone commits a crime these agencies often have their hands tied. If he hadn’t had easy access to guns would he have found another way to attack? It’s possible. BUT, he DID have easy access to guns, and this access allowed him to literally destroy 17 lives and figuratively destroy hundreds of others.

So stop with your second amendment talking points. Let’s do the right thing and begin looking at real solutions to gun violence in this country.

Peace, please, people.

A Broken Heart

I can point out the cracks,

The places that never quite heal

This one from Newtown

Another from a Texas church

And all those in between

Etchings on this old heart,

Dinged by each death,

Pitted by the greed of lawmakers

Broken by the callous, rote responses,

Their thoughts and prayers

Who will take this cup from me?

Who wants this scarred heart?

I’m tired of carrying the damage around

Of wounds that don’t mend

And people who don’t care.

Gun Range

Doright Manor is nestled on a small lake in a wooded area just outside of Tallahassee, Florida. Our nights are filled with the sounds of frogs exerting dominance over their domain and the occasional hoot of an owl. 

Occasionally, though, the sounds of lake life are accompanied by the sounds of muffled  gunfire from a nearby gun range. Tonight the gun reports are seemingly non-stop, and even though they’re far enough away as to be non-threatening, I cannot help but imagine what the victims of gun violence in Orlando experienced upon hearing that pop pop pop up close.

Was that one meant for me? 

Dear God, my friend’s been killed. 

Oh Mother, I loved you so!

Every National Rifle Association member should be required to visit with the family of someone murdered by a gun. Wayne LaPierre, president of the NRA, should be required to walk through a site devastated by gun violence. He should have to face the families affected and explain to them why the AK 47 is necessary to their security and health.

But cowardice is the hallmark of the NRA. They hide behind their beloved guns and talk the big talk. Only a good guy with a gun…show me those good guys for I have yet to see a single one.

Peace, people.