Thoughts on Virginia Tech


another lone shooter
an alien standing in a sea of people,
unnoticed in his normal skin
until he raises the gun
cutting people down like
so much wheat
before turning the gun on himself
and taking our answers with him

what is he killing?
emptiness, that sucking hole that inhales
days and months and years,
leaving nothing in its wake?

who can know now?

could someone so cruel have considered even the
cold kindness of a note?

and now, the cameras
and now, the anger
and now, the inquisition in search of someone to blame
for this scandal of incomprehension
a neat little package of cause and effect
ending in a committee recommendation
and someone’s head on a platter

the fearful world closes in
demanding answers that we really don’t want

answers that might, if we had them, illuminate
what we’re trying so hard not to see


5 responses »

  1. It was hard today sitting with students in class when the news came over the internet. Student have a hard time wrapping their brains around stuff like this. Your thoughts gave me some things to think about. As always, you are a thinker and choose your words well.

  2. “answers that might, if we had them, illuminate
    what we’re trying so hard not to see”

    I think that is the truth of the situation. Something is terribly wrong in our society if a person can become so alienated that he murders others just as a way of acting out. So sad.

  3. I cannot get my mind around this. I don’t know how to explain to my son why these things happen. I don’t know how to explain the choices of this man. Can we continue to just say “he must have been insane?” and allow that to be reason enough? No. I think not. I think, like you that we need to dig, we need to see what we’re trying to avoid seeing. We need to get to the heart of our children. We need to know them.

  4. thanks for this.
    while so much discussion will revolved around laws and guns, until all children loved and taught to love everyone and treat everyone with love, there will always be outcasts, loners, empty, hurting children who will lash out and kill.


  5. I hope that I don’t get crucified for this but one thing I noticed about the American culture is that you guys are all about INDEPENDENCE … I think that’s one factor … people don’t feel comfortable seeking help … telling friends that they are miserable because you would then be perceived as being weak …

    It is sad that these kids need to kill before they are noticed … maybe what needs to be looked at is not just whether he was insance or not … maybe what needs to be looked at is what triggered it?

    Anger? because he was never one of them?

    Sadness? because he was never part of the group?

    Alienation? because he’s not cool enough to fit in?

    We will never know … until the next shooter comes up and someone will be able to stop him from killing himself …

    I pray for everyone … for the people affected and the people who are not affected … because it should affect them … this should make them think … if Columbine wasn’t able to do that … I hope this will make a change … and not just about gun laws but about how we all treat others …

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