“A Few Haiku (41)”

(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

(#241)

semi-auto god
bestows eucharist of lead
solemn school bells toll

…..

(#242)

school halls echo with
screams of dying children and
NRA’s black sins

…..

(#243)

white men with black souls
and gunsβ€”God, so many guns–
MAGA paradise

…..

(#244)

bend them ’til they break
then suck the life out of them
my father’s parenting

…..

(#245)

my life etched in runes
incomprehensible script
I can’t decipher

…..

(#246)

creosote bushes
and alkali hardpan
I have no more tears

…..

(Author’s note: some of these pieces were inspired by the recent deadly spate of gun violence in the U.S., including an elementary school massacre in Uvalde, Texas, where nineteen children and two teachers were gunned down by a heavily armed young man who recently purchased AR-15 rifles on his 18th birthday and who had posted on social media his desire to do this act. Reports have now surfaced that police officers responding to the incident chose to wait outside the door because they “didn’t want to get shot.” Welcome to America, where there are more guns than people and more mass-shootings than days in the year…)

47 thoughts on ““A Few Haiku (41)”

    1. Thanks, Cindy. Honestly, this has knocked the wind out of me. Every…freaking…day…this happens. What have we become when half the Senate and almost half the House stand back and allow it to happen simply because the gun lobby pays them to keep their mouths shut? I’m beyond angry. This is preventable and must stop, but it won’t as long as one major political party values greed and power over the lives of our children.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Aaysid. I hope there comes a day when we’re free of this domestic terrorism financed by the gun lobby upon our own citizens (children, no less). Tragic doesn’t even begin to describe it anymore.

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    1. Thanks, trE. I agree–it feels like I lost my mind a long time ago. Mass-murder has become synonymous with America. Gun violence hit close to home for me a few years ago when my nephew (18 at the time) was shot in the chest at a party and nearly died. Surgery was performed to repair his aorta, and one lung had collapsed. My dad was a a vicious, racist gun nut who threatened to shoot me during our final interaction a few years ago. It’s like a sickness, this lust for guns. No words left to describe it…

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Daphny. It’s a difficult time, and sickening to think this occurs pretty much daily in the States. Too many people value guns over the lives of their fellow citizens (including children). We’re lost as a nation, I fear…

      Liked by 1 person

  1. These are revealing and detailed. Actually, Mike, the recent massacre story has left us wondering whether it is really logical to sell any form of ammunition to a minor πŸ€” I was horrified when I read this story in one of our dailies. What a daring and emotionless kid! I can only imagine… our societies are going to the dogs with such inhuman acts. The problem is how often they are sugar-coated or spinned to take away the blame from authorities.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Lamittan. We must do something at some point to enact legislation to ban assault weapons (again) and crack down on the sale of guns and ammo to people who are unfit to own them. In this country, it’s easier to buy a gun than it is to vote, and that says a lot about the mindset of millions of people here who value guns over the lives of their fellow citizens. But that will never happen until the GOP is held accountable for selling its soul to the NRA and the gun lobby. Greed and power seem to matter more than kindness and compassion in America nowadays. I don’t hold much hope that things will change for the better. There’s too much going on here now politically that has brought my country to its knees, and our future is uncertain at this point (democracy or dictatorship–check back in November after the mid-term elections…).

      Liked by 1 person

  2. #241. So so true. The gun worship just doesn’t make any sense from an outside perspective. It is all painful to read about even from across the world. Sending good vibes to the US in mourning, from Australia.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks so much. We definitely need all the good vibes we can get. Gun fetishism is indeed a disease, but it’s so ingrained in our history and culture that I doubt anything will ever change for the better. It’s most certainly another stain on America.

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    1. Thanks so much, Peggy. It’s so difficult to see this happing virtually every day. I hope we wake up and change our ways before it’s too late (it feels like it already IS too late)…

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Heart-breaking is right. How many times can a heart break before it becomes numb and dies? So many Americans have become numb to gun violence because it occurs every freaking day. Numbness and complacency just makes it worse, however. Is there hope for us?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Terveen. Man, this is beyond frustrating. You’re right–anger and hatred seem to drive the world, and what a heinously dangerous and efficient engine they make. Every day, more gun violence fatalities, and it’s being cheered and encouraged by one of our two major political parties (the GOP, for those taking notes at home). I fear we’re screwed.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, David. Your verse says it all. My heart is pained, indeed, for the needless deaths of all those children and everyone else who has been a victim of America’s Wild West gun-lust mentality. One of my nephews was a victim at age 18 (he survived, thankfully). This stuff hits really close to home for me. We can’t get anything done legislatively because the GOP continues to refuse to vote for common-sense laws that would prevent much of this violence (their campaign coffers are filled by…you guessed it: the gun lobby and the NRA). It doesn’t look good, and I fear the status quo will remain.

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  3. The whole thing is just terrifying – more so because it’s just ‘another’ shooting. You want to grieve for a country which has been so hurt, but at some point there’s got to come responsibility. I liked the first and last haiku – some powerful lines

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I know, right? It truly has gotten to the point where it’s “just another mass-shooting in America.” We can’t allow ourselves to become numb to it, but that’s what’s happening. We see through blind eyes and hear through deaf ears of the deaths of children gunned down in their 4th grade classroom while cowardly cops stand outside the door, afraid they might get shot if they intervene… It’s nightmarish and persistent, and the U.S. is the only nation on earth where this occurs on a daily basis. The terms “responsibility” and “accountability” are apparently absent from the GOP’s lexicon…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This remark has been met with horror and guffaws, but I wonder if the problem doesn’t lie in America’s underlying principle of pursuing happiness. Although we take it as axiomatic that humans pursue happiness, it’s actually a really strange one – particularly when you consider the implications of multiple conflicting interpretations of happiness. In many ways life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are – given the nature of human beings – mutually exclusive qualities. Add to that a bitter legalism, and you have people who take the absence of happiness as a tort (i.e. society has failed to allow me to pursue happiness, therefore I’m entitled to damages, determined by me). But this – the idea that pursuing happiness is a dangerous and even contradictory idea – isn’t something I’ve ever seen admitted by American philosophers and politicians.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. That’s an interesting take on things, and I think you’re right. I’ve also been considering the whole “Manifest Destiny” notion that spurred westward expansion in the 19th century here in the States. In a nutshell, white settlers decided that God had given them permission to take over the continent as far as they could go, and regardless of who already lived here. Genocide ensued, but hey, it was God’s edict (according to the white settlers as well as the government) and He had given this land to the white folks, so that apparently justified their massacre of the indigenous peoples who were here long before the white Europeans came along and destroyed their cultures and civilizations (very much like what happened with Europeans invading, brutalizing and wiping out the indigenous peoples in Central and South America). The westward expansion meant taming the new frontier, and that meant danger, and that meant guns, and plenty of them. And apparently, we haven’t shed that Wild West mentality, so we’re fixated on guns and God and destruction and racist white nationalism, and it’s a toxic mess. In the American South, many whites still cling to the pre-Civil War mentality (where slavery was A-OK) and yearn for the days when “the South will rise again” (and similar sentiments abound in the mid-western states). It’s no surprise that these states are deeply red (republican) when it comes to politics, and deeply religious and white. And you’ll find the most guns in these areas. And we’re talking millions and millions of people who are armed and who have that Wild West sickness and who choose guns over the lives of children. I see no way out of this for America. It’s too late. Gun reform will never happen here because there are too many guns and too much hatred and fear (caused by the GOP and the gun lobby). If there is another Civil War (and it’s highly likely, according to experts), guess which side will have all the guns? It’s a terrifying thought. I think it’s too late for my country.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think you’re probably right – the United States will devolve into civil war and out of it will come three or four different countries. And that’ll probably be better for everyone in the end, but it will be a very bloody process. Saddening for all of you there, especially the civilized ones like yourself.

        Liked by 2 people

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