You are hereBlogs / dlindorff's blog / New poem by TCBH resident poet Gary Lindorff -- 'Gun Tales of a Pacifist'

New poem by TCBH resident poet Gary Lindorff -- 'Gun Tales of a Pacifist'


By dlindorff - Posted on 15 February 2016

Gun tales of a pacifist

 

My brother and I learned to shoot

At summer camp.

That is where gunpowder

Became my favorite smell;

It had a tangy burned pungency

That hung in the air after each shot,

Better than Christmas.

After five or six shots

We would all run up

To inspect our targets

Even though our acute vision

Had already reported back our score.

With our guns

We were all rebel-princes,

Hooded heroes and highwaymen,

Plotting ways to defend the commoner

From our hideaway

In the king’s forest.

 

And then there was the boy

Who shot his whole family

In the same town as our camp.

They knocked down the house,

Bulldozed it flat and planted pine trees

Over the spot.

The name of the boy

And the family was never uttered again.

It was like they were whited out.

But the trees are still there

Serving vigil.

 

When we weren’t at camp,

We took our .22s to the sand pit

And shot at cans on boulders,

Rarely missing except on purpose

When we targeted the boulders

To hear the zing of ricocheting bullets.

One time, in the sand pit,

We spotted a big Hognose snake.

(Snakes grew bigger when I was little.)

We got a box over it and the mothers came.

They called the police

Who responded straight-away,

Told us all to stand back

And shot it through the head

Before we had a chance to grow up

And learn to read

And fall in love with snakes

And find out that Hognose snakes are harmless

Rat-eaters. But I still remember

The dusty bloody carcass of that big snake

Lying still in the sandy dirt

After it stopped writhing,

And feeling that the cop

Did the wrong thing

Even if the snake was, as he declared,

Poisonous.

And the whole thing was very anti-climactic.

But the cop and the mothers

Had done their duty.

And I couldn’t wait to get back to

My childhood

Which only lasted a few more years.

 

       --Gary Lindorff

 

GARY LINDORFF is resident artist at ThisCantBeHappening!, the independent, uncompromised, five-time Project Censored Award-winning online alternative news site. His work, and that of colleagues JOHN GRANT, JESS GUH, DAVE LINDORFF, ALFREDO LOPEZ, LINN WASHINGTON, JR. and the late CHARLES M. YOUNG, can be found at www.thiscantbehappening.net

Speaking Events

2016

War Is A Lie: Second Edition
Book Tour

May 29, Oakland, CA
3 to 4 p.m., David Swanson interviewed by Cindy Sheehan, at Diesel: A Bookstore, 5433 College Avenue at Kales (near Manila), Oakland, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 29, Berkeley, CA
7:30 to 9 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, sponsored by the Social Justice Committee and Cynthia Papermaster, 1606 Bonita Ave. (at Cedar), Berkeley, CA
Sign up on FB.

May 30, Fresno, CA
2 to 4 p.m., David Swanson and Cindy Sheehan at a Peace Fresno event
Community United Church of Christ
5550 N. Fresno Street
Fresno, CA 93710
Contact Dan Yaseen 559-251-3361, danyaseen@comcast.net
Sign up on FB.

June 11 St. Paul, MN, 6 p.m. at Macalester Plymouth Church Social Hall 1658 Lincoln, St. Paul, MN.
Sign up on FB.

June 12 Minneapolis, MN, 9 and 11 a.m. at St. Joan's 4533 3rd Ave So, Minneapolis, MN, plus peace pole dedication at 2 p.m.
Sign up on FB.

 

June 24 Roanoke, Va.
7:30 pm @ Unitarian Universalist Church of Roanoke (2015 Grandin Rd SW, Roanoke, VA 24015). Contact: plowshare@plowshareva.org
Sign up on FB.

 


Other Events Here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHOOSE LANGUAGE

Support This Site

Donate.

Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.

 

Sponsors:

Speaking Truth to Empire

***

Families United

***

Ray McGovern

***

Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.