Devastated to hear about the shootings in New Zealand this morning. This poem was one I had written after the shootings in Las Vegas. I was playing with form because I wanted to paint a visual to go with it as well. Trees always remind me of life and connectedness. I pulled it out and played with it a bit here. Still haven’t gotten very far on the painting….
for those minutes,
framed in that window
far above the ground
—far below heaven?
Did the music sound distant,
the joy and excitement
way beneath you?
When you sowed your terror,
did you even look down
to see the crop you planted?
Scattered bullets, mistaken fireworks,
spurred a stampede in that country music crowd.
But everyday heroes rounded up the wounded, body-sheltered injured,
prayed over the dead, and carried the bleeding over fences,
across runways, behind cars, and under balconies.
First responders, nurses, doctors, friends, and strangers
jumped those gaps between life and death.
Did you see that, Terrorist?
Did you see the hope and help that flowered
despite the chaos you’d sown?
Or did you stare into that dark barrel
before reaping your own deathly harvest?
Do we see
that what we plant
we must prepare to harvest?