grief / Uncategorized / violence

The Unspeakable

After Labor Day, things are a bit quieter in this little town. It seems that the wicked arm of violence that so plagues the larger cities all over the world can rise up anywhere. And so it happened here. Last Friday afternoon, when everyone was looking forward to a nice long, weekend, two junior high girls were walking home from school. 3:30 pm, beautiful sunny day, lovely neighborhood, manicured lawns. Out of the perfect sky blue afternoon, a black SUV sped toward them. Without warning, the young man driving the vehicle pulled out a shotgun and pressed the trigger. Both girls in his site. The driver raced away. One girl died from her wounds and the second one was injured. In a place where life seems too still most of the time, where a church stands on every corner, and too many people know each other, this thing happened. In the space of a few minutes, two families’ lives were shattered, one will never be the same. Still the questions remain, how do we stop this insane violence that threatens our daily peaceful existence? Of course, there are many theories and opinions. Maybe it is time to stop theorizing and take action on one of these plans. The world needs a solution, nobody should have to mourn the loss of someone resulting from such horror.

And in that heat of agony

when bullets turn to shrapnel

Blazing Violence claims another

no reason, unjust treason

those touched by

hot demon’s breath

loose much in this modern world.

Stripping the earth of Precious,

one red ounce at a time

raking waves of misery

comet of hate racing across the sky.

Behold the Angel of Darkness

claims your rancid soul

marring this neighborhood

deprived of solace.

Vacant, glass eyes

can’t truly see

What have you done?

In madness, you growl

threats that materialize

exploding into hate

and pastel lined caskets.

Your shots have

hit their miserable mark

gaping jaws of Hell

open now

Eternity beckons

bullet shells

torture nails.



31 thoughts on “The Unspeakable

  1. It’s a tragic and terrible story. It shouldn’t happen in “your” town, and it shouldn’t happen in Afghanistan and Syria, when a drone, not guided by a madman, but ordered by the highest authorities in the land and deliberately aimed suddenly unleashes it’s load of death and a school bus is annihilated with dozens of school children on board. Sadly, people don’t sense the tragedy perpetrated “over there”, only the one here. But it’s the same tragedy. Yes, there are many opinions and many “solutions” that have been bandied about since the beginning of civilization. But I know what ingredient is missing from the global “family” and why it continues to perpetrate sick and mindless violence against itself: it possesses no desire to change from selfish entitlement to compassion. In a land so deeply committed to racism, endless war and possessed of an insane gun fetish, no one should be surprised when the above happens – in fact the truly surprising thing is that it doesn’t happen way more often.

    For what it may mean, I mourn with the people who lost their child, and for the terrible pain and sadness now gripping your community. Yes, but I mourn mostly for the ignorance of a populace that insists on perpetuating a social condition that guarantees more of this violence will take place.

    • Sha’Tara, this is definitely the case. I did say that this does happen all over the world, I guess when I’m focusing on this particular town, it is due to the fact that it is not a metropolitan area, it is the noted “Bible Belt” and even though it has a population of 104,000, it is by all purposes, a small town where most people actually either know each other or know names. I understand that this act of murder is no different than military-sanctioned murder that is promoted by governments. I am certainly aware of people all over the world that are caught up in this, and I also find it disturbing. It is interesting that a country who was founded by immigrants has such dire racial issues. I also am against the policy of “policing the world.” I wish the money that was spent on war issues could instead be spent helping to eradicate world poverty and shoring up the educational system for all children. This would be a much better use of funds. I don’t understand why people are consumed by owning guns, and there are many Americans who think like I do. I live in a state where folks are adamant about owning them. People point to the Constitution and scream about their rights, but alas, we live in a different world now. It is truly a black mark on humanity that senseless murder must abound at the hands of one or many. As it turns out, this particular case was less of a random act, and more of an act of stalking. In spite of the age difference, the boy was 20 and the girl was 13, he had a fixation on her. He ended up shooting her 14 times. He planned to put the gun back in his parent’s apartment so that nobody would know.

      • The town where I live has an estimated population of 80,000 and is also considered to be heavily Bible belt. Two things that stand out for Chilliwack: it has boasted the highest number of Christian churches of any similar town in the country in the recent past… and has also boasted the highest crime rate in certain recent years. Currently the conditions downtown are so bad that the police have no resources left in the evenings and at night to take care of problems in the rest of the community. So much for Bible belt. I know from experience having been involved in local politics as an environmentalist that Bible belt automatically means politically right-winged, pro-life (but only for the unborn), anti-abortion, pro-gun, ignorant and bigoted – yes, exceptions noted and gladly accepted as they prove the rule. When it comes to crime, religion has never been, is not, nor ever will be, a deterrent. We – all of us, as individuals, need to change our very nature. We need to accept the fact that only through compassion will we achieve peace, justice, even some sense of equality, on this world. I’m going to write this again: We, all of us, need to change our nature by becoming compassionate beings. I have already chosen that for myself and no one can do more. It can only be a personal choice, never a collective one. You’ve doubtless heard of the balm of Gilead. I say that it is compassion.

  2. Shatara has left an excellent comment Lana. I am sorry the thing we call the ‘American Condition’ has arrived so abruptly in your town. It must be truly awful to endure such a thing. My thoughts are with you!

    • Yes, she addressed it pretty well. I am, of course, against violence perpetuated at the hands of many (governments) or the hands of a single person. By signaling out this town, I was speaking more of the geography (Bible Belt), the distance from large metropolitan areas, and the fact that even though the population is 104,000, it is, by all practical purposes, a small town. As it turns out, this was not a random act, but more of a stalking incident. In spite of the age difference, he was 20 and she was only 13, he had a fixation on her. He ended up shooting her a total of 14 times. This was also the very first time that her parents let her walk home from school. So incredibly sad. My son went to the same middle school and often walked home with his friends who lived nearby.

  3. Wow how sad! 😢 Unfortunately these things happen so often that it breaks my heart and it can happen to any of us. Sure, I don’t want to live my life in fear but I must admit that often I freak out thinking that something like this might happen. It’s so sad really, I’m not even sure if there is anything at all that we can do to stop it. 😢

  4. Lana, I hadn’t heard about this. I just fill with such sorrow on reading this – your words powerfully mirroring my anger and despair. There will never be reason or understanding for such callous actions…

  5. So beautifully written, Lana, though it’s a crying shame anything like this has to be written. I don’t know what’s going on in our world today. When I was a kid (there, now I sound like an oldster, huh?!), nothing like this happened. We felt safe walking all over town. Today’s kids don’t have that luxury. No wonder they’re wired into the online world, when the real one is so scary.

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