E Pluribus Unum


Fear and folly in tandem come,

And in their sway, we have often run,

From what’s true today to yesterday’s vision,

Though that which was is no more the mission.


So how long do we stand,


As the evidence mounts?

How long do we sit,


Before the body counts?


Sowing and reaping the violence-prone,

X-box, vampires, a society grown,

Increasingly assorted, beyond scope of a center,

No common cause, each citizen dissenter.


Yet innocence once ours,

at least so we believed,

E Pluribus Unum,

at birth thus conceived.


Out of many one,

the melting pot boiling,

The reduction to union,

through everyday toiling.


With each feeling sanguine,

that with hard work and luck,

He could inch up the ladder,

Given moxie and pluck.


But there’s competition from abroad,

And the economy’s out of balance,

Where now the Lone Ranger?

Who then Liberty Valance?


“When the legend becomes fact,

print the legend,” the man said.

John Wayne to the rescue,

right there in our stead.


But that Wayne’s long gone,

“The Duke” that we knew,

Been replaced by Bruce,

Dark Knight in his lieu.


And he’s raging within,

with the need to avenge,

Stripped of perspective,

not justice, revenge!


So hammers get cocked,

Bullets set free,

No longer the exception,

But a growth industry.


Columbine, Aurora,

Now Newtown, too,

The enemy has turned.

The enemy is you!


Yes, you over there, and

Him and the other,

Wariness abounds,

So who, then, my brother?


Discontinuity, fragmentation,

the me not the us,

Together unbound,

at first thought a plus.


But back decks, not front stoops,

And families get scattered,

Separation, isolation,

Mental health’s door’s been shuttered.


The signs are strong,

The details telling,

The images matter,

Just look what we’re selling.


Black Friday consumption,

Mortal Kombat and force,

Political advisors,

Yet never remorse.


These torments and troubles we judge with our eyes,

Not turban’d mullahs, but everyday guys,

Caught in the vortex of a culture of wanting,

The unfulfilled dreams, the nights with their haunting.


We mark these tidings to Dallas `63,

That shattered the illusion,

The thought we were free,

From such politics of nations,

Who on far distant shores,

Remained locked in class strife,

That we claimed to abhor.


Today, the victims are random,

As the roll call has grown,

First workforce, then high schools,

Now kindergarten’s own.


Yet we continue to preach,

‘to arm is our way’,

But what evidence to show,

That doesn’t cause one dismay?

This melting pot’s, surely,

now come off the boil,

What once could unite,

Now seems to embroil.


And with leaders for sale,

to lobby’s high bidder,

Belief in the system’s

Gone straight down the shitter.


For two centuries and more,

It’s been called an experiment,

But does self-governing yet work?

Simply look how our time’s spent.


Gerrymandering districts,

Too big to fail,

Multiple conflicts,

Now children who wail.


Original intent,

Like that old-time religion,

Must inform to the moment,

Rather move not a smidgen.


For as Nietzsche once wrote,

“Hence the ways of men part…,

What we can find words for,

Is already dead in our heart.”


Thus the needs and the measures,

Of our grandfathers’ days,

Were particular to their era,

Will we ever reappraise?


Yes, freedom is costly,

There’s a price for this system,

Everyone to chip in,

Wasn’t that the wise dictum?


Because markets have fault lines,

Between winners and losers,

It’s not easy to reconcile,

For the shakers and movers,


To whom much has been allotted,

As well as much earned,

But the lesser among us,

Can’t simply be spurned.


And not out of altruism,

Or for some higher regard,

But for self-preservation,

Which is not a canard.


Because those left behind,

Without options or means,

Will strike out with a menace,

At those that they deem,



If not by merit, as evil holds no logic,

It’s the mania of the hopeless,

As if plugged into a socket,


And charged with an urgency,

That knows no control,

Manic and mayhem,

Is what it bestows.


Like prisons that sprout up,

As if more were the answer,

While lock-ups by the millions,

Are but a sign of the cancer.


And what of the unborn,

Oh, so easily aborted,

A woman’s choice, one thing,

But ever sanctity thwarted?


When founders first met,

‘fore a new nation born,

‘Twas divine right of kings,

That fomented their scorn,


All men created equal,

Wasn’t that their grand vision?

Yet with some only three-fifths,

How honest that division?


Thus today’s extension of the founding birth,

Has stretched beyond its visionary worth,

For we the people no longer fear,

The edicts of kings who are no longer near.


Instead the problem,

 It’s now plain to see,

Is that face in the mirror,

The enemy is me./



8 thoughts on “NEWTOWN’S SANDY HOOK

  1. I remember this from the first time around, Toni, and it rings as true today as it did after that horrible day. What makes this even more sad for me, on a personal level, is that December 14 is also my mom’s and one of my training partner’s birthday(s). I feel terrible that their special day is tainted by that horrific massacre.

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