A mass shooting at an American High School…




Mass media and
mass murderers

find it easy
to find each other.
A brother, a son,
yes either one,
armed with a gun,
becomes a modern Herod.

The parallel is drawn
in pages torn
from the Book of Isaiah.
And the Innocents
are pulled from the obscurity
of Bible belt America,
and culled in the security

of a school.

Senseless life is used
to excuse such futile death.
And parents, still untouched
are scared as much
by teenage angst;
as once by Space Age Reds.

Beware the urban terror
in your midst;
for it didst once
murder a flower.

© franciman 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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How true! Fabulous ideology here in your poem – if ‘ideology’ be the correct word, but I guess you’ll know what I mean. It is a tragedy, and at the same time, a portent: For, just like a volcano puffing smoke is a sign of the turmoil and pressure going on below the surface, I feel that these acts too are merely signs of a worse explosion of suppressed emotions ‘something-or-other’ in that society.

Awful times. Hopefully though, times from which Mankind has the opportunity to learn.

Great poem.



I always love the way you weave biblical teachings or deep philosophy in your work Jim.
This is no exception.
There is a dichotomy with the terrible things that seem to occur in the bible belt. Once I had time for TV evangelists. I thought they were well meant, now they look like the spawn of Satan to me.
Greed, lawlessness and corruption has overflowed into society and only God knows the way it’s going to pan out.

A brother, a son,
yes either one,
armed with a gun,
becomes a modern Herod.

Classy as ever

Alison x


The intertwining of the god-fearing – gun-totting culture, where what is right is what we hold; and I liked the analogy, between the biblical and the modern. A very thought provoking piece. For all our sakes, lets hope the USA gets its act together; if not there is something so much worse wanting to usurp.

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