When we are sad the tears we form can be healing and satisfying…

What do we do when he have no tears left

but we haven’t finished crying?


Another person with a gun killing unsuspecting folks….

This latest one in California…at a bar in Thousand Oaks…


Each new shooting spree fails to bring us together

in fact it tears us more asunder… 

as again we cry for the victims

as again we’re left to wonder…


With each new murder of the masses

With each new innocent dying…

What do we do when we have no tears left

but we haven’t finished crying?


It saddens me to see the sorrow on each face

of those affected by this massacre

in this new time…

in this new place…


But knowing this is not the last time this will happen between our shores…

knowing this has become routine…

saddens me…

even more.


What do we do when faced with a reality

we have trouble justifying?

What do we do when we have no tears left


but we haven’t finished crying?

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8. Violent Mercy

Black Shades

Bleeding heart, sore daggers.
I am agonized byond myself

at all the violence,

was the world meant to be torn to shreds like paper?

What violent mercy we have serrcum to!

Author's Notes/Comments: 


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When we first hear the news of another shooting

another list of people dead

we are saddened and our hearts ache

and we immediately bow our heads.


We bow our heads in silence 

for we don’t know what to say.

We bow our heads in reverence. 

We bow our heads to pray.


We pray this killing will stop!

That today will be the last day!

That all sides will put away their differences

and somehow find a way…


to solve this horrendous problem

instead of trying to cover it up!

Because we’ve been bowing our heads so often now


It’s getting harder and harder…to look up.

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Sliced and Diced

Razor blades used

to cut the body to shreds,


Sliced and diced like



Blood flowing without interruption


Death's sun setting


Beginning of the ending


Scarlet's overtaking


Blood flows sweating!!!!



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As I watch our country send it’s people away…while trying to keep others out

I wonder about the flame that warms our melting pot…when did that flame go out?


As I watch our president stir up hate and anger so talk about building a wall can begin

I wonder…what happened to our founding fathers who invited everybody in…


As I watch what the adults are doing with our world…how everything they do seems so wrong…

I wonder…what happened to the children…who were taught to get along?


As I watch a world at war with itself…filled with hate and discontent…

I wonder…what happened to the children who were once so pure and innocent?


As I watch people hate other people because of their skin…their religion…their name

I wonder…what happened to the children…once taught to treat everyone the same?


As I watch religious people use their religion to hate lesbians and gays…

I wonder what happened to those innocent children…the ones we taught to pray…


To pray for love throughout the world…to pray that war and hatred would cease…

To pray that everyone would live together in harmony and peace.


And then I remember those children…the ones who laughed…who wanted only to have fun…

Since 1999 from Columbine to Stoneman High…

we’ve been killing them with guns.



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While in Las Vegas for Bryan’s 40th…as part of his birthday design 

We took a family picture…in front of the Welcome To Las Vegas sign.


As we stood for our portrait…it was a bright, beautiful, cool and sunny day

and behind us standing Vegas strong…was a cross…and the Mandalay Bay.


Our reverie paused a moment…for in that moment we all felt numb…

The cross and the hotel stand as chilling reminders of how unsafe our world has become…


When I was young the world seemed safe…oh there were dangers I have no doubt

but my parents didn’t seem to worry if through the neighborhood I traveled about…


My parents told me to be home for supper…to wear a jacket or I might freeze…

and when I got home they’d ask if I had fun…what I did…and how did I skin both my knees?


They didn’t worry about kidnappings, child sex trafficking, terrorism, mass murders or guns…

They worried that we had enough to eat, that we were dressed well and that we had fun.


When our children were young the world still seemed safe…oh there were dangers I have no doubt…

But we didn’t worry as our kids headed off in the neighborhood…to play and traveled about.


We didn’t worry about them getting shot at a concert or mowed dow by a car in the street

Their world…our world…seemed much safer…

free from harm…

protected and sweet.


When we finished taking our family picture I noticed Ali face timing her children back home

and I thought how unsafe the world has become…in whatever neighborhood they roam.


I brought my harmonica to Vegas to play Happy Birthday to Bryan…

I wanted to see a birthday smile light up his face…

But there by the cross memorializing the victims…

I took it out and played Amazing Grace.


I played that song for all the victims who lost their lives or were injured

and for all of their families too…

And remembering back to when we were young…


I played Amazing Grace for the life we once knew.

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Another mass shooting this one in California…and another day goes by…

289 people are shot in America each day…87 of them die…


I’m not sure which is sadder that each day 289 shootings are taking place

or that the number no longer bothers us …that shootings are commonplace.


It doesn’t seem to matter if the murders are splashed across the evening news,

it doesn’t make a difference, it doesn’t change our views.


Oh, we’re angry for a moment…and for a moment it gives us pause…

but it doesn’t stop the killing…it doesn’t change the laws.


Would it be different if we knew that every 17 minutes in the rise and setting of our sun

someone in America is killed at the hands of someone with a gun?


When we look at the sheer numbers how can we not weep or shriek…

when we do the math and calculate we lose 600 people every week?


It is sad to think more people are gone who were here the day before

and even sadder to think we can multiply their family’s grief by over 600 more.


There is a problem in our society, the numbers do not lie.

It leaves many of us frustrated as each day more people die.


Until something is done to curb this violence that everyone deplores

I’m afraid today, like yesterday, will be a little sadder than it was the day before.


If you don’t believe we’ve become accustomed to this violence…

Here is what I mean….

This poem you’re reading right now…today…

I first wrote in January…