vengeance movies nonwithstanding


i want to write poetry about chrysanthemums
licking yellow & bronze along sidewalks,
& rivaling leaves in their burn
or how my creek, frosted clear now from algae
carries those leaves in fleets of color
into that great lake,
but i am again telling a story
poured deep into dust that is always thirsty;
words that stink of iron & stain everything

whose hands are clean? not mine.
they will never be clean
while children bleed the price of speech
or not speaking, while we break our young
against things harder than stone
of our own making

songs of love & flowers must wait
because blood shouts discordant & flat
covers everything else
until it is played through to the ending

i keep telling myself
all those movies are wrong–
vigilante justice is not justice
but revenge

& a murderer
of a murderer
is still a murderer


About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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22 Responses to vengeance movies nonwithstanding

  1. George Ellington says:

    But these stories — these accounts — must be told, Susan, and you tell them with such eloquent ferocity that people are compelled to listen. Thank you for telling us.

  2. davidtrudel says:

    Violence begets violence. It is past time for all of us to speak out against violence in all its guises, including state sponsored violence. Revenge doesn’t work, it just exacerbates conflict.

  3. ruleofstupid says:

    Yes and thrice yes to you &@davidtrudel
    Action films, our legal system, our vile emerging litigiousness – so much is still predicated on an atavistic notion of justice as revenge. We can never know the future, or the longer outcome of our actions, so we have no right to judge or pretend we know our deeds will end in good or bad. We must learn to replace our infant cries for vengeance with an adults determination to love, reject judgements in favour of compassion.
    Rant, spleen, babble!

  4. doncarroll says:

    i certainly agree here. the thing that sometimes can come into play is how the male figure with all its all mighty powerful status is sometimes what some women gravitate toward – hence abusive stuff. just my take susan…hahaha. good piece !!

    • Susan L Daniels says:

      Thanks, Don…I have always been of the opinion that real men don’t need to shed blood–you know, the kind that speak softly and do not need to club anyone with that big stick Roosevelt talked about 😉

  5. nelle says:

    We have rule of law for a reason, and… yes.

  6. Remember, when I said I want to go back to love poetry instead of political poetry? This IS love poetry, you said, and you are right. Our writings are love driven. 🙂

  7. You say it so well.

  8. Lindy Lee says:

    “& a murderer
    of a murderer
    is still a murderer”– a strong, intelligent opinion, one which too many never consider…

  9. Powerfully expressed, Susan.

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