We Cannot Look Away: Not another 17, not another One

We Cannot Look Away: Not another 17, not another One

Just another day

just another town

bullet perforated backpacks

spilling loose-leaf lined paper, textbooks

onto blood stained sidewalks

helicopters hovering

to give us the bird’s eye view

I tried to avert my eyes

out of respect for the dead

the injured

but I could not look away

Christine Ray

Even though I should

Because I am ashamed

At the bullets that rain

At the bullet point pain

Etched in their faces, rivulets in their eyes

They were just children, stolen from their time

Not forgotten in these lines

But to their parents and loved ones

It’s a void they’ll never fill, and it shouldn’t

Lives shredded and ruined

17 times we’ve gotten the chance to do better

and for the 18th, we blew it

Just like those children who looked at their killer

Their killer is not Nikolas

The Killer is you

Devereaux Frazier

Seventeen blossoms

seventeen blinks of an eye

seventeen bullets in the body of spring

and those left behind

food to flashback phobias

memory outbursts


Spring won’t be coming

in a town far away

in a country across the sea

right next to me

Basilike Pappa


Running for class president

Running for the Varsity Football Team

Running to get in line for a movie they can’t wait to see

Running to embrace someone they love

Running and laughing with siblings or friends

Running to get to the dance floor before their favorite song ends

Running for exercise

Running for fun

They should never be running from the thunder of a gun

We’re destroying our future for profit and gain

While they run for their lives

And we’re left with questions and pain

Eric Syrdal

Look away, little bird.

The sky has adjourned, rejecting your flight path

well into wrath.

hell hath no fury like the anger turned apathy, semi-automatic rhapsody that plays on

the overhead speaker that once freed us

from maths.

It doesn’t add up, the physics, social studies, introduction to business, life and

death 101.

Nothing could prepare us for the words we don’t have.

Nicholas Gagnier

Lives swung into darkness

and voices numbed

Eyes losing hope


Blood on the hands, soul

screams and tears everywhere

Deafening silence of the death

and roaring sound of the violence

life stripped of its happiness

and tears losing the feeling

Yet again, My heart is hopeful

Lips in unison with the prayers

Trying to calm my self down

Thinking It won’t happen again

But deep down inside

I know we all are living in denial.

Megha Sood

Spare me your

thoughts and prayers.

Spare me your

people-kill-people babble.

Seventeen more names

added to a statistic

that will never be used.

So, by all means,

let’s keep sending

millions of dollars a year

to powerful people

in exchange for turning

a blind eye.

Proving over and over again

that dollars mean more

than lives.

Sarah Doughty

Seventeen more reasons we grieve.

Seventeen more reasons we’re

broken as a nation.

Seventeen more reasons we must

rise up

a giant against apathy, and


willful ignorance.

Destroy the dissidence.

End the agenda of greed.

Our freedoms are not free—

seventeen more innocent souls sacrificed.

Kindra M. Austin

True horror has unfolded,

We watch on glowing screens of disbelief.

With the voices of innocents ringing in our ears,

Fingers swipe it all away.

As others moved on with their day,

I could not look away.

Grief, pain, disbelief,

All right there, before our eyes.

Yet one headline replaces the next,

That gut wrenching sadness suddenly replaced.

As the topic changes to something else,

I could not look away.

Where is our humanity,

I ask as society moves on from this butchered elephant in the room.

Can’t we just stop and think,

Acknowledge the death, the suffering, the wrongness.

Another day will come and go, setting on our community,

We cannot look away.

Doomed to repeat this dreadful fate,

We need to choose to change.

Insanity is as insanity always does,

As we continue to place ammunition with malignant intent.

What can I do, the individual, the lone soul, this:

I will not look away.

Michael Erickson



Have ourselves

To blame for this

Again and again

An unsolved tragedy

We must hold ourselves to task

For every death. Every child

Like spent shells fallen to the ground

Souls adrift to haunt those who do not act –

Who do not act again and again and again

I cannot look away again, again, again





Again, again, again, again, I cannot look away, not again.

Stephen Fuller

I cannot look away

From the train wreck shit show

This country has become,

Where cash in a senator’s pocket

Outweighs the blood of our children,

Where losing your ‘right’ to own an assault rifle

Is more an abomination

Than Children being murdered in school

Than human beings dying at a concert in Vegas

Than parents burying their babies.

The blood on your hands will not wash away.

I’m with you in Parkland!

Where kids call presidents out on their bullshit.

I’m with you in Parkland!

Where they won’t let hypocrites hide.

I’m with you in Parkland!

Where they call BS on the lies.

I’m with you in Parkland!

John W. Leys


24 thoughts on “We Cannot Look Away: Not another 17, not another One

  1. Beautiful poem! I recently started a challenge for #conquerhatewithlove inspired by the school shooting. Would it be okay if I reposted this on my blog as part of the challenge?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So powerful but has anything changed. America’s obsession with the right to bear arms at the expense of its children is so difficult for an outsider to understand I couldn’t rouse myself to even read about the most recent school shooting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes,you are right after so much gun violence and killing, it leaves me baffled that people are still fighting for right to bear arms when it’s killing their own kids.
      It’s unfortunate and the very sad and heart wrenching to see that it goes on and on.
      It rips my heart to explain the need of a active shooter drill to my 7 year old.


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