Category Archives: Gun violence

Poem-A-Day for April 15

Today’s poetry challenge from Writer’s Digest is to write a poem about some sort of infestation. Looking over some of the selections from earlier this morning, I find the usual infestations of insects and love/obsessions, plus some rather inventive ideas about infestations. Mine isn’t so much inventive, perhaps, as it is timely. This is about an infestation that is all too common in our schools.

Sign of the times

It could be just a hoax.
Some kid wanting a day off from school,
Or some kid who’s angry and doesn’t know how else to say it,
Or maybe just some kid writing stuff on bathroom walls
For no reason.
Who knows?
But it was in my inbox from corporate HQ,
And all the local schools are on alert,
(Although many have dismissed it as a copycat prank)
And most important,
My daughter had heard it, and was concerned.
And I don’t want my town to be next in the headlines.
And certainly not my daughter.
There have been so many towns
In so many headlines,
And so many daughters,
And so much national grief.
So today she has a headache
Which I informed her yesterday she would wake up with this morning.
That’s your story, and you’re sticking to it, I said.
Be consistent, and tell everyone you have a headache, I said,
Even your best friends.
And I thought, how ironic,
That the best proof I have today of my parental excellence,
Is how thoroughly I’ve coached her on how she should lie
In order to be safe.


Filed under classroom, education, education, Gun violence, Poetry, Quick takes, student, writing

The silence is deafening

As a member of a traditional peace church, I find myself taken aback at the eerie silence that my own and other traditional peace churches have maintained in the aftermath of the tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, this week. Mennonite, Catholic, Brethren, Quaker … not one denomination has issued any official statement of any sort offering words of peace that I am aware of.  Not one peep. And believe me, I’ve looked.

What’s up with that? Have we in the church become so resigned to our growing cultural irrelevance that we simply see no point in taking a stand against the encroaching darkness of violence and fear? Are we so ready to abdicate our responsibility as a legitimate voice of morality and  conscience for the nation? Or is it that the traditional church is so embroiled in defending itself against scandals of its own making that it no longer has time for such matters as moral leadership?

I have to say I’m baffled. I just don’t get it. This much I do know: It’s not a good sign when the church fails to speak on matters of such sweeping import. If we are not going to shine a light into the darkness, who will?

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Filed under Gun violence, Quick takes, Uncategorized