18 April 2018


RIP to Barbara Bush.
RIP to Howard Casell.
Do I also say RIP to 400 deaths in Syria?
RIP to Stephon Clark? ETC.
I don't even know what to say anymore.
I don't know why the sun rises, moon glows,
traffic lights function, people talk and walk.

I feel the same about every gun death
I read about in the USA.
Better we should know, yes.
And then what?  Wait at Starbucks?
I feel like standing in the middle of a highway.
I have the urge to stop until hate stops,
but depression doesn't work for me anymore.

I want us to lay down all the guns
and drones and bombs
I want us to look for the good,
for the God, for the average,
and for the evil in all of us.

Own it, share it, talk to each other,
and only then, start again.

Written in April 2018.  Slightly revised for the Pantry 
at Poets United.

My blog poems are rough drafts. 
Please respect my copyright. 

© 2018 Susan L. Chast   


Julian said...

Hi Susan, this line...Do I also say RIP to 400 deaths in Syria?.... says so much for me. And your question......And then what?.......for me is very strong within the context of your poem, of which for me is well crafted and offers quite a fast paced read.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Oh, i resonate with every word and line in every fibre of my being. Sigh. The people need to rise up everywhere. Syria is just breaking my heart. Every senseless gun death, racism at Starbucks......we know so much better than this. I have to believe the tide will turn, because if it doesnt, humankind is in great peril.

Mary said...

I see you originally wrote this in April, 2018. Funny how this poem continues to remain so current. And I wonder....how long, how long. More gun deaths. And the hate continues. We do need to have a turnaround, to look for the good again and find it in each of us - worldwide. I would like hatred to RIP!

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Powerfully said – and an appalling dilemma.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

It does just make us come to a stop, doesnt it? Yet I try to remember, that one on one, people are very kind...........The idea of "the other" is perhaps mankind's biggest mistake, when we are so clearly all just people, having the experience of being human. Sigh. One of my faves of your poems, my friend. And sadly, very current, as we add the mess to the southern border to it, and all the lunacy about the Wall.

Thotpurge said...

Absolutely right- why can't we put down our weapons and stop them where they are being made- arms or plastic, surely we can make do without. make wonderfully do without. Wise words for the new year Susan... are they falling on collectively deaf ears.

rallentanda said...

It just goes on and on. The tension will eventually snap . No good will come of it. It affect the world.It affects everyone.It all has to be resolved somehow.

Rommy said...

And the beat goes on... sadly. So much more death since April- avoidable, stupid, pointless death. I am hopeful with the fresh batch of congresspeople, but ultimately the power to do something rests on the people, and there must be a much wider repudiation of complacency for real change.

Brendan said...

What's the saying -- the only way out is through: These exceptionally difficult human tasks like sacrificing our ancient propensity for violence for the sake of planetary survival requires a will that cannot be summoned, only bled through. Technology makes us stronger than the sun: maybe we can't survive without dimming our lights almost suicidally. Wish I had more hope than that, but alas, alas, but hope shines bright because it's fossil fueled. I pray for world-wide power failure, for something to survive human dope.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

And so the chaos, violence and destruction continues.. it breaks my heart to hear the news and I wonder how much longer until change arrives.

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

We certainly do need to start over with this gun-violence thing. It's been out of control for far too long. Far too many innocents have been killed. But what do we do? Talk to each other, as your poem suggests? My cousin, who has enough guns in his house to outfit a small army, will not discuss his "right to bear arms." So, I don't know...

brudberg said...

Maybe we should all try to rest in peace a while before we die... why is death the only way to get peace, it should be really easy...

alas ceasing to hate is harder than we think.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Your last stanza echoes my feelings about the current madness ruling our country and the world. We can't move forward or rebuild without acknowledging the destruction, without assuming responsibility, without speaking and doing.

Myrna R. said...

I share the passion of your poem. I no longer even get depressed but rather feel a void where I seek answers. Perhaps, we need to keep questioning, perhaps we need to turn our depression to anger, to action to ...?
Your words are powerful. Thank you.

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I so get this--I think so many of us feel this way. You sum it up so well in this powerful piece--

tonispencer said...

Wait at Starbucks...this says it all in your poem. It all comes back to it isn't real unless we read it on our vel phones while waiting for over priced coffee

C. Sandlin said...

oof. That third line. How do we take this in? It feels as if we're stuck in one of those books in which the lists grow longer but the plot is lost.


I wish in this new year, what you have written is followed in letter and spirit by all the world leaders. It's these few whose policies and profit orientation from arms dealing, wars etc, have encroached all the space for peace. We commoners suffer at this brutality.

dsnake1 said...

this is such a compelling poem.
this reminds me of some words of a song, when will the cord that holds the anger in, breaks? do we have to start all over again, in caves? :(