Bleeding


autumn tears

All the glory of fall—
cloudless blue skies to complement
the orange-red-yellow of the maple
that drops her leaves
on my shoulders and head as I

crouch in cool grass,
slowly stroke stain on thirsty
redwood. The color trickles in rivulets
till I sweep it with my brush.

Life is textured like this wood—
creviced, split, dry,
oh-so-dark in places.
I water it with pain(t).

Here, in my almost-backyard
(not Newton or Columbine or
Virginia Tech),
but here, a teacher and a boy
have fallen, like the leaves,
into a pool of crimson tears.

In memory of the 8th grade teacher, Mike Landsberry, who gave his life today protecting children at the Sparks Middle School shooting, and with thoughts for the young boy who felt so desperate. Prayers as well for the two wounded students and all those who were affected. Sparks is our neighboring community. There is much sadness here today. Linked to dVerse OLN.

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38 thoughts on “Bleeding

  1. I feel your pain(t). 😦

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  2. Jamie Dedes says:

    I thought of you immediately when I heard the news of this latest tragedy, Victoria, and almost emailed, but what can one say? Nothing will compensate for pain that paints the area and it will be long in the healing, perhaps never for some … yes! not just “a” pool of crimson tears but pools and pools. We can only hold them in loving kindness.

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  3. ImeldaImelda says:

    The last stanza gives autumn a whole new different meaning. What a sad day it is.

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  4. claudia says:

    it’s so tough… was really shocked when i read about it in the news…my daughter is teaching in 8th grade at the moment..

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  5. The last stanza is sad and powerful. It encloses the whole poem and expresses a difficult reality.

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  6. A wonderful and moving tribute – so sad that it is even necessary.

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  7. kaykuala says:

    It’s most sad to be given another episode of madness. The courage of the teacher which was beyond call of duty certainly merit recognition. Great write Victoria!

    Hank

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  8. Having just read Mary’s joyful Spring poem, I thought this one was going to be a joyful Autumn poem. How wrong could I be?

    Yet your words arouse empathy for those traumatised by such an event – virtually unknown in relatively unarmed Europe, so all the more shocking.

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  9. Victoria, thanks for commenting at my blog. I’ve been away for quite a while, due to lots of stuff.

    The word “pain(t)” was inspired. I thought this would be a painful poem from the git-go, with the blood mention. Then it morphed into a lovely medley of colors. Then it hit me. I don’t know how kids are getting so desperate… is it cyberbullying, abuse at home, access to guns by way of unthinking parents, or sheer fear of the future? We must pray for the soul of our nation. And yes, I’m also praying for that misguided young man who perpetrated the violence. He must have been a truly lost, isolated soul. Blessings to you and yours. Amy

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  10. Bryan Ens says:

    This poem is beautiful yet heart-breaking.

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  11. beckykilsby says:

    Oh that’s very close to home Victoria and your words have framed the poignancy and sorrow very well.

    Life is textured like this wood—
    creviced, split, dry,
    oh-so-dark in places.

    The balance is really effective.. the emotion is there, undoubtedly, but you’re not shouting about it. It must have been a tough write.. but the end result is strong and troubling.

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  12. Beautiful words that hang heavy with grief….

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  13. Gosh so sad, what a brave man… your poem is a perfect remembrance for those who have lost their lives… so sorry to hear of such a tragedy.

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  14. Very nice. Well done. 🙂

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  15. scillagrace says:

    One year ago today, there was a shooting in a neighboring town…a domestic incident where a man went into a hair salon and fatally shot his wife, 2 co-workers and himself. More employees were wounded. One of the women was the one who cut my hair just 2 weeks before. I posted this on my blog when I found out: http://scillagrace.com/2012/10/22/we-are-all-connected/
    Sad, angry, disappointed, terribly hurt. How can we work toward peace in a more effective way?

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  16. My heart hangs heavy for all those affected. An emotional write.

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  17. Susan Chast says:

    Oh My, Oh my. This was what I put up on facebook today along with Brian’s poem and now your moving poem of blood and autumn, watered with pain.
    BATTLEFIELD
    Civilians lay down
    their arms and their heads to sleep
    through life undisturbed.
    Waking them, teachers
    place their lives on the front lines
    as moving targets.

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  18. Truedessa says:

    beautifully sad.. words that are heartfelt such a terrible turn of events.

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  19. It was a sad day indeed!

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  20. A good way to talk about the fallen and the spill of red and tears.

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  21. Beautifully felt- sentimental and powerful. There is multitude of images from the beginning, coursing to a singular end.

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  22. oh how sad. What a world we have become when this continues to happen to our children.

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  23. Sue says:

    A moving tribute to a brave man.
    Thanks for sharing it.

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  24. kelly says:

    It’s so hard, to understand, to accept, to process. Your words are deeply touching, heartfelt and honest. I can only hope that soon we find a way to keeps these things from happening. xoxo

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  25. Wow..this is very touching..and interesting to hear the news in poetry as I gave up on IT in ‘real life’ along time ago..by force of vision problems..and now by choice..alone.

    I’m not missing anything but cruel reality.

    But thank goodness there are still people who reALLy care…Still…

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  26. ayala says:

    So sad. A beautiful poem. Brian’s poem was also powerful. It’s so devastating that these are the times.

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  27. I am so sorry to read this terrible news Victoria. You’ve honored this tragic reality with such poignancy “Life is textured like this wood—
    creviced, split, dry,
    oh-so-dark in places.”

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  28. janehewey says:

    Your turn at the end shakes the truth out of this season. It is a time of change, decomposition, beatific color, and finally acceptance of what is lost. Really wonderful write, Victoria.

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  29. Alex Dissing says:

    Tragedy strikes again… Seems like there’s a shooting once a month. Sad. Beautiful poem, Victoria.

    http://alexdissing.blogspot.com/2013/10/friendship.html

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  30. annotating60 says:

    A poignant and sad piece about a tragic part of modern life. >KB

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  31. Tony Maude says:

    As has been said, you’ve picked up the same story as Brian, and have handled it in your own gentle way. The colours of autumn/fall are a clear indication of the approach of death, but surely it doesn’t have to be like this …

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  32. I just read Brian’s piece.. and you have caught the same news. For once it has not been on Swedish news. Maybe because we have had our own shootings recently… in our case more related to gangs I think.. but still. How you move from the beauty of autumn colours lull us in lyrical beauty.. until that pain(t) and into the crimson of the blood caught me.. very well done.

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  33. You & Brian are on the same poignant page, Victoria. God, here in WA state people are shot in shopping malls by 10 year olds with Glocks; schools, churches, offices, wherever innocence resides the madness surfaces, the bullets are let loose, and death leaps on children, on teachers. What a grand poem, tribute; the illustration you used was perfect too.

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  34. Grace says:

    The third stanza is lovely ~ I was sad to read about this Victoria ~ The use of autumn falling for the both the teacher and the boy are poignant ~

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  35. Mary says:

    So true, Victoria. Life is textured…sometimes dark indeed. What a tragic happening once again. In a school, where life should be safe. You must be particularly sad, having it so close to your own community.

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  36. alan1704 says:

    Beautiful words, full of emotion from the heart. Words that express the unexpressable. Broke my heart.

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  37. brian miller says:

    it hard when it hits so close to home…i was a responder at Tech…the after is a hard place…lots of hugs and just listening, being with each other…..we all need someone in those circumstances…wish i could be out there to help…

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  38. Back here after a long time Victoria. Hope you are doing good 🙂 I just loved your words – “Life is textured like this wood–” What a line.. 🙂

    Someone is Special

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