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Godot51

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Member since: Wed Sep 22, 2010, 08:34 PM
Number of posts: 197

Journal Archives

The Tea Baggers come for a visit

Is the Washington Naval Yard shooting still "really big news" or have you already dismissed it?

I'm tired of hearing the line "They're coming to take our guns away" every time a another gun tragedy occurs. The Constitution has been in effect for 224 years and that hasn't happened yet, has it?

Maybe gun owners should be more concerned with reality than with fantasy. The reality is that guns are weapons, not tools, which are meant do kill and they do their job very well.

No one ever designed a car, a hammer or a kitchen knife and said to themselves, "If I do this it will be more dangerous, if I do this it will make it more accurate, if I do this it will kill better".

However, perhaps every gun maker tries to realize these points: guns should be more powerful, more accurate and more dangerous. And all too often they try to make their guns more appealing, easier to use and easier to conceal.

This is the nature of tools: we try to make tools safer and we add warnings glued on their handles and printed on their packaging; we have guarantees and regulations because, over the years, people have found imaginative ways to use their tools and in these ways have managed to kill and injure themselves.

So, whenever I hear a comparison, such as the use of guns verses the cars of drunk drivers my heart sinks. What a stretch. Think a little: who gets into their car, goes out for a night on the town thinking what carnage their car can do, if they decide to use it; who plans a drunk driving accident?

Who says "I'm in a bad mood and I'm going to get drunk and wreck my car and maybe kill a bunch of people"?

Who says "I'm going to drive down to the elementary school and run over as many children as I can?"

A certain percent, luckily a small percent, of gun owners actually do this. We know this because we can read it in the news all too often. "I hate my life" or "I hate my wife" or "I hate my job" and they lash out in the deadliest way they can.

Another point of the false analogy of gun incidents and drunk driving accidents is this: a person convicted of drunk driving does lose the privilege of driving, there are many laws on the books concerning drunk driving and many penalties.

The authorities can put them in prison and can take their licenses away and insurance companies can deny them insurance or, if their driving rights are reinstated, can charge them obscene rates.

This cannot and will never prevent drunk driving but it can curtail it and creates a known set of rules and regulations that can be held against the driver. We know the penalties.

Pure human stupidity cannot be controlled. If you are a gun owner as well as a driver this should give you pause: that stupid idiot who just cut you off or who is texting and driving or who is doing whatever it is to make you angry enough to want to kill him, he may also be a gun owner. Scary thought, isn't it?

So, gun owners, what is it to be? 30,000 various gun deaths a year or an effort to reduce that, for example, the way we've reduced vehicular deaths over the past 50 years.

What will it be? A little responsibility to go along with your "Constitutional right"?

How about some common sense rules and regulations to make all of us safer; owners, their families and those of us who absorb the "secondary" bullets?

How about background checks. Prove you are who you say you are and that you're of a sound mind. Prove you're not a felon. Sort of like some people want to do with the right to vote (I don't hear the NRA complaining about violating those rights by the recent making of new rules and regulations in many states).

How about limits on types of weapons. Does the hunter need a semi-automatic to hunt rabbits and ducks? (Elmer Fudd never did, he made do with a shotgun). Let's have some common sense gun rules.

How about limited magazines? Who need 20, 40 or 100 bullets in a gun outside of a soldier on active duty? (However, to tell the truth, Elmer Fudd never needed to reload unless it enhanced the comedic content of the scene.)

How about gun licensing, training and relicensing and maintaining training. Do you want a blind Alzheimer's sufferer wandering around with a gun? (Not unlike Elmer.)

How about mental and physical testing for all gun owners? Makes sense, doesn't it?

How about liability insurance for all gun owners, you know, just in case. You could even opt for comprehensive just in case you or a family member is involved in a shooting accident (I'll bet Elmer Fudd has some, considering all the times he's shot himself in the face).

Yes, yes, I know. It's in the Constitution. But, as I constantly point out, you're not a member of a "well regulated militia", are you?

I know, I know, that part doesn't count. (And why is that? Because it might be inconvenient?)

And hasn't the Constitution been reinterpreted many times over the past 200 plus years? Not to mention amended 27 times and counting (including the precious 2nd). Are all of those amendments sacred to you? How many can you name without looking it up?

I don't care if you own a gun or two. I only care that you are a responsible owner who wants to accept and share that responsibility.

You have no right to shoot me for scaring you a little bit or even a lot.

You have no right to shoot me in the heat of an argument.

You have no right to shoot me because I angered or insulted you.

You have no right to shoot me because "it was an accident".

And on and on.

A gun does not make you safer, statistics prove it puts you in greater danger, including accidents and suicides.

For the same reason a gun does not make your family safer. No child in a gun free house ever shot themselves, their siblings or their parents by accident. (They'd need a gun to do that.)

Gun owners, grow up. Guns are not toys to collect and play with.

They are not magic shields against evil and fear.

They are not insurance that guarantees your safety.

Guns are not cute, beautiful or fun. If you think like this you are a danger to yourself, your loved ones and all those around you.

The key

I found an unknown key
to an unknown lock
in a drawer I was sorting through
today

What should I do with it
throw it away or
put it back in the drawer or
put it in the little box

With all the other keys I once needed
but no longer need
locks left unlocked
or locked away forever

Dying slowly
the invasion of moisture
the advance of rust
the slow clenching

Alone and useless
a life that has been passed by
never again to feel
the welcome penetration of the key

Never again to release
the pressure of the tumblers
the action summed up
in a final click

The unknown key stares mute
its face and teeth
set in the grimace
of final acceptance.

I close my hand over the key
wondering of the lost lock
and set about
trying to decide.

Songs for guns

I Bought a Gun


One day I bought a shotgun
and I looked at my shotgun
and its shells
and I said quietly to myself: "Courage".
But for some reason my heart still shrank
and my hands still trembled
and I felt alone and small
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said quietly to myself: "I need more".

So, one day, I bought a rifle
and I looked at my rifle
and its cartridges
and I said aloud: "Courage".
But somehow courage eluded me
and my eyes darted about
and I felt at ill at ease
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said aloud: "I need more".

So, I one day, I bought a revolver
and I looked at my revolver
and its bullets
and I said in a clear, firm voice: "Courage".
But why was my heart still so small
and why was I nervous
and feeling uncomfortable
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said in my clear, firm voice: "I need more".

So, one day, I bought an automatic
and I looked at my automatic
and its magazine
and I said in a loud voice: "Courage".
But where was the courage I wanted
and I found myself shying away
and why did I feel so alone
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I said in my loud voice: "I need more".

So, one day, I bought a semi-automatic rifle
and I looked at my semi-automatic rifle
and its extended magazine
and I screamed: "Courage".
But I didn't find my courage in my guns
and I didn't find it in myself
and I felt too much to bear
as I watched the others stride around me;
and I screamed my scream: "I need more".

So, one day, I took my guns with me
and I looked at my guns
and all their ammunition
and I softly said to myself: "Courage".
But for some reason my heart shrank
and my hands still trembled
and I felt alone and small
as I watched the others stride around me:
and I softly said to myself: "Maybe tomorrow..."

Poems on Kindness in a Time of War

Ophelia


I await my daughter's return to me
but balance shifts and becomes imbalance
and all powers fail to return the balance
decay sets in
the spring of the clock loosens
and only entropy remains
what was once immutable and sacred
is changed and corrupted.

How much of the fault lies within
within the mother within the daughter within me
this cannot be contemplated
would I find fear in place of duty
and which duty is required
the protection the lesson the release
and in what part of me is the answer
the mind the soul the heart.

The first time my daughter drowned
I caught her easily
and whisked her away from the danger
the pounding heart belied the steady voice
and fear like bile rose in my throat
but after I'd swallowed even I could pretend
that nothing had occurred
and all was at peace again

The second time she drowned
was not so easy
I scrabbled hard across the rocks
cutting deep blood tingeing the water
but was it for her or for me
that I flung myself and with bloodslick hands
pulled her forth
wondering if I should let her free.

And then she drowned a third time
and I wasn't there
and the waters took her away
and when I saw her body
picture perfect yet left of life
my soul exploded like a hollow thing
a heart of ash crumpled in my chest
but I never knew for whom this occurred.

In the balance in dreams
I see my arrival before she is gone
watching unsure in motionless motion
I see her face descending
the hand the fingers flicker
and all time stops
drowning always drowning
with her fingers always out of reach.

The Animal Poems

The Silent Spaces

I. The Awakening

When I first awoke a hand touched me
and it felt of kindness and love
and trust, the promise of safety and security
I learned to love the touch in an instant
through the skin all the way to my heart and soul
I learned to await the moments of caress
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I first awoke the scent surrounded me
and it smelled of love and kindness
and trust, the promise of safety and security
I learned to love the scent in an instant
replacing the scent of my mother in my heart and soul
I learned to await the times when it filled me
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I first awoke I tasted that which held me
and I drank of the kindness and love
and trust, the promise of safety and security
I learned to love the taste in an instant
it sated me as if it filled my heart and soul
I learned to await every bite of belief
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I first awoke I saw the face above me
the look of gentle love and kindness
and trust, the promise of safety and security
I learned to love the sight in an instant
filling my eyes, my being, my heart and soul
I learned to await the coming, every appearance
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I first awoke the sound engulfed me
and I heard the kindness and love
and trust, the promise of safety and security
I learned to love the sound in an instant
hearing fulfilled my being unto my heart and soul
I learned to love the arrival of the sounds
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

II. The Letting Go

When I last closed my eyes the hand lingered
and it still felt of kindness and love
and trust, the promise of safety and security
but I have learned many kinds of touches
the kind and the cruel on my heart and soul
I learned to love the caresses unconditionally
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I last closed my eyes the scent lingered
and still I smelled the love and kindness
the trust, the promise of safety and security
but I have learned many kinds of scents
both wary and eager for my heart and soul
I learned to love the knowledge they brought
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I last closed my eyes the taste lingered
I yearned to drink the kindness and love
the trust, the promise of safety and security
but I have learned many kinds of tastes
the sweet and the bitter pierce my heart and soul
I learned to await the feasts and the hunger
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I last closed my eyes the image lingered
a look of sorrow filled with love and kindness
and trust, the promise of safety and security
but I have learned many kinds of sights
gentle, angry and indifferent to my heart and soul
I learned to treasure every appearance
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

When I last closed my eyes the sound lingered
a sad litany of regret, pain, kindness and love
and trust, the promise of safety and security
but I have learned many kinds of sounds
silence, whispers, calls, shouts in my heart and soul
I learned to love the silent spaces, to wait
and savored each as if it would continue forever.

Poems on Kindness in a Time of War

the other side

a broken insect
struggles across a road
to the other side

Poems on Kindness in a Time of War

clench


when i learned that my son was dead
something clenched deep inside
though my face made no change
except maybe a twitch under my left eye

i saw my wife collapse on the kitchen floor
all the bones of her body gone
but i could not move to help her
not until the twitch under my eye let me

in the days that followed my eye grew calm
and unreality moved about me
i swam inside it like the sea
neither warm nor cool nor shallow nor deep

my wife formed bones again strangely stiff
i could almost feel them pushing my hands away
a hard ghost stood between us now
his touch too much to bear

a closed coffin built by anotherís hands
mocked the tools skills and material
i knew well what my son knew
the better craftsman than his father

when the builder builds he asks not why
his imagination too narrow to see
that the building will eventually fall
and another builder build again

the creator creates us finite and weak
our struggle so great we need no help
in discovering new ways to die
so rages my mind

my son one of many in the foreign place
one of many fallen into whose hands
of the many families who grieve
who can never unclench again

Poems on Kindness in a Time of War

A Song of Ghosts


When I washed my hands for the 20th time that day
I stared in the mirror above the sink
as I dried my hands
a hollow eyed ghost stared back at me.

My lips parted to speak
and the ghost's lips parted, too
so I waited to hear what he had to say
but the words whispered out and I could not tell.

Once again I started to speak
and once again I waited in deference
and I strained my ears as he spoke
and he said "sorry, I'm sorry".

I nodded as if I understood
and waited longer to invite
any other word he cared to speak
but he slowly shook his head and I shook mine, too.

So at last I could say what I wanted to say
and as I spoke the ghost shook his head
his hollow eyes grew more hollow
his haunted face grew more haunted.

I spoke to the ghost and he shook his head
even I could not hear the words I spoke
I wondered if I'd become deaf after all
but the ghost assured me that I hadn't.

I caste my eyes up and down
I glanced from left to right
and turned my head to look over my shoulder
but there was no ghost nearby.

Then I stared straight ahead
into the mirror of the past
into the mirror of the future
straining for a glimpse of the now.

The ghost stared back without emotion
and when I started to speak he turned his head
so I hesitated
and washed my hands again.

The Animal Poems

When I Was an Animal

When I was an animal
I tasted the animal tastes
such as blood, feces and urine
and savored each in turn
my tongue delicate and wise
without disgust or revulsion.

When I was an animal
I smelled the animal scents
such as fear, anger and despair
and they prompted my responses
my nose leading my mind
without thought or reason.

When I was an animal
I saw the animal sights
such as teeth, claws and snouts
and was quick to react and attack
my eyes weak and dim
without true color or discernment.

When I was an animal
I felt the animal feelings
such as hunger, pain and cold
and each lesson learned lessened
my sensitivity ground down
without empathy or love.

When I was an animal
I heard the animal sounds
such as groans, grunts and howls
and the cacophony outside
my ears heard as a symphony
without rhythm or time.

When I was an animal
I thought the animal thoughts
such as then, now and when
and they built a senseless fury
my mind tied to my senses
without past or future.

Now I am not an animal,
isn't that nice?
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