The Angry And The Damaged



"Struggles and issues can load the gun, and neglect and mistreatment then pull the trigger."
The poet, author

"Early and thoughtful intervention can prevent or intercept a potential or budding harmful intention."
The poet, author

The poems on this page are largely about how we should take more interest in those around us, thus thoughtfully and wisely considering their needs and struggles lest, due to any festering, ill occurs, like mass shootings and so on (terrorism and racist acts not included here, they being a world of their own).

I came across this short story which has some relevance here:
A man was walking along a beach. On this beach were countless starfish that had been washed up in the night, and now the sun was slowly rising. As he walked along, he noticed someone ahead of him who was throwing starfish into the sea. He stopped and watched for a little bit as this other person continued to pick up starfish and throw them into the sea. The man looked at the beach and saw that it was still completely covered in starfish. “You’ll never make a difference,” he said to the one throwing those starfish, “There’s just too many.” The other person ignored him, bent down, picked up another starfish and tossed it into the sea. He then turned to the man and replied, “It made a difference to that one.”

In conjunction with this page, I would strongly recommend that you read and dwell on my poem No Brakes, More Carnage which is first up on my page Things Worth Pondering, Home page.

The following poems are very much today's sad reality.

This particular poem has been done in a form somewhat like that of the sixties
song Ode To Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry. A link to that song has been placed
under this poem.

1.  When Pots Boil Over

It was a drab day and Dad had just walked in the door, a meal on the table for the family.
Mum passed the spuds and Dad took his share, the rest of us waiting for grace (which soon came, and gratefully).
Dad seemed serious and quiet. “Everything all right, Dear?" Mum inquired, "Sorry, finish your mouthful.”
Dad leaned back a bit raising his head, his gaze on his food and he appearing uncomfortable.

“Jimmy shot six people this morning, and then turned his gun on himself. Could you pass the gravy, please?”
No one spoke, we all stunned, Mum mechanically passing the gravy boat. “Thanks, the salt too, please.”
The salt passed hands as Dad continued the story, we too shocked to speak, Jimmy only thirty three.
“Before he fired, he yelled out something about people not being there for him, and his family,

How they’d suffered too. He cursing those he reckoned could’ve made all the difference financially,
And how he'd found some token gestures offensive, more so when some people weren't that short of money.”
Dad passed the salt back, took another mouthful, our eyes glancing at each other, words stuck in the throat,
We all seemingly anesthetised, and as if awaiting some “No, such isn’t true” antidote.

Dad broke the silence again. “He was as angry as a hornet, screaming how little people cared,
How they’d treated him as if he were a joke, just 'cause he’d struggled with things, even some things feared.
He said something about how they could’ve at least helped his wife and kids, not punished them 'cause of him.”
And we all glanced at each other again, wondering what guilt we might share, and our expressions grim.

Mum rescued the patties from the oven, finding her voice. “But hasn't he just worsened things for them, Dear?”
“Well, when pots boil over, they hardly switch themselves off, and can often badly burn whoever's near.”
“Patties, Dear?” Mum asked. “Yes thanks. And those who boil over usually turn on those they view as guilty,
One of his victims being someone that we know, but that’s the inevitable reality.”

Dad’s knife parted his pattie, the rest of us picking at our food now, though Dad’s fork raising its load,
But before his mouth engulfed such, he paused. “The truth is that we just don’t know when someone might explode.”
The load disappeared, Mum finding her voice again. “I wonder how many more Jimmys there are out there?”
Dad motioned to the gravy which came his way again. “I suspect there’s many — no surprises there.”

He spooned the gravy. "So many out there are in need of help. I wouldn’t mind another pattie.”
“Sure, Dear.” Dad rested his fork and Mum fetched the tray. “It surely pays for us to act more thoughtfully,
And by that I mean, we taking a greater interest in others, even going without too,
Well, at times, that is, in order to ease someone's lot, and lest ill may fester and things go askew.”

Another member found her voice. “Yes, so many of us don’t do as much as we could, I must say.”
Dad’s fork probed his pattie. “That’s right, Jean, and there’re far to many excuses at the end of the day.
We oft don’t appreciate how blessed we are, fail to see our shortcomings too, oft conveniently,
Our sad oversight and thoughtlessness encouraging or triggering those loaded guns, possibly.

While such doesn't excuse their dreadful act, it’s oft a contributing factor, one we can’t ignore,
One that's fuelled by that growing gap between the haves and have-nots, which could be eased if people helped more.
And by that I mean, in any way they can, be such via their time, skills, contacts, possessions or money,
Which, when it’s all boiled down, simply amounts to that love that each of us should have for humanity.

Many sad things could no doubt be prevented if more responded with the appropriate thought and care,
Taking the time to help such ones, and it oft only amounting to being an attentive ear.
In other words, just being there for those who’re struggling; thus where people can, they doing what they can,
And not waiting to be asked, but seeking with charitable eyes that the width and breadth of Earth scan.”

We nodded our heads in agreement, the room falling silent except for the chatter of knives and forks,
Such hardly the usual subject matter come our family meals and around the table talks.
Mum’s voice finally broke our ponderings. “Such a cost,” she said, “And then there’s his wife and kids, oh dear.”
And as she began to clear the table, she looked at us all, as mums do, and down flowed a wee tear.

We'd known Jimmy for years, his family too, but from a distance, nod of the head, wave of the hand,
And he seemed a nice guy, we wishing we’d got to know him better, 'cause such we could understand.
We’d had our struggles too, well knew that air of indifference (something that really rubs when life’s low),
And why some who are seriously struggling, and dealing with who knows what, suddenly up and blow.

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded 4 August 2021.

Here's a link to the Bobbie Gentry song:

2.  Wherever Such Paths Cross

Yes, the angry and the damaged, and there’s so many of them out there, sadly,
Wounded, festering and prone to blow, and thus needing attention urgently.
They often adding to their wounds, and wounding others as well, and hence why we
Shouldn’t cause, add to, or ignore those wounds, but respond wisely and thoughtfully.

For some the damage and anger’s come early, for others it’s been later on,
But be it early or later, it’s often how lights go out that could’ve shone.
And flickering lights being a possible sign of danger, not just some sad loss,
Which we may’ve prevented had we stopped, and why we should, wherever such paths cross.

By Lance Landall

3.  Don't Help Tip The Scales

He’s angry, very angry — in other words, smarting badly, dangerously,
'Cause oh, how he’d like to hit back, have them eating their words-cum-paying dearly.
Yes, it bad enough that he has his past to deal with, many issues within,
Without more brickbats coming his way, striking at his manhood, rubbing things in.

Hence his negative dreams, his desire to become powerful, even wealthy,
For money can buy position and clout, reward with a certain potency.
In other words, take care of that ticking “I’ll show ’em” wound that festers and burns,
And possibly in time, via this ill or that ill, a Newspaper headline earns.

And you know, he not an evil person, but one propelled down a certain track,
Which, despite all his good qualities, even glowing, results in something black.
And all preventable but for that indifference, insensitivity,
Those things that made him feel small, a fool, and took away respect and dignity.

And he just one of many, a passer-by that draws no attention, until
His inner rage hits the fan, a final straw flinging random or chosen ill.
And oh, how he’s seen for the evil one he is, or so his despisers say,
Yes, a thoughtless line of them that throughout his life helped to pave that fateful day.

Though for some that day may not come, thanks to inner brakes that just manage to hold,
And that meantime ensure that those inner rages and errant thoughts are controlled.
Well, largely so, some lid letting out just enough steam to prevent a large spill,
But not so with other bubbling pots that blow their lid and predictions fulfil.

So please don’t help tip the scales lest some Hitler be born, folk in the wings already,
And by that I mean, it only a matter of time and opportunity.
For oh, how they’re smarting, voices echoing in their ears and scenes replaying,
And as for any impending ill, well, they’re hardly likely to be saying.

It never pays to re-wound the wounded, though who they are one can’t always tell,
And therefore, we minding how we go, and rather than stirring, seeking to quell,
For humanity is full of such wounds, wounds that are gaping and infected,
And is it any wonder given how folk are mistreated and neglected.

By Lance Landall

4.  Looking Down The Barrel

When somebody takes a loaded gun and goes on a random shooting spree,
Or simply commits suicide, we shake our head and wonder why, don’t we?
And yet, it’s all very fathomable, there is always a reason why,
Even if such alludes us when the exact cause we can’t identify.

Nevertheless, reasons there are, and such are cause for sober reflection,
Be they depression, drugs, influences, revenge, fear, hurt or rejection.
And connected to these examples is the decay within society,
Caused by the repudiation of things once upheld, but not now, foolishly.

Usually, or often, there’s something that triggers these acts that we see,
A final straw that has folk snap, give up — enter us, inevitably.
Yes, so often we’ve contributed in some way, even unwittingly,
Hence why we should tread with great care, lest it be we aid some calamity.

After all, those who’ve been mistreated, or who consider that they have been,
Often hit back, and far more so, when they’re permanently leaving the scene.
I guess they figure they’ve nothing to lose, already feeling dead inside,
And where they’ve no belief in a day of reckoning for all, woe betide.

Yes, such ones inflict all the carnage they can, viewing it as pay-back time,
Their behaviour deliberate, hardly a case of no rhythm or rhyme.
And in their sights, not just random folk, but also those they believe caused their pain,
Or who at least contributed, links in a perceived or very real chain.

Perhaps they were treated indifferently, rather insensitively,
Perhaps they weren’t understood, nor given the time or thought necessary.
Yes, little by little, here a bit, there a bit, things that overtime grew,
Or an injury that deeply wounded, over which they began to stew.

Such people aren’t always evil at heart, but troubled emotionally,
Their lot made harder by circumstances, or a tightening net, maybe.
By that I mean, harder times, misfortune, a more restricted welfare net;
Things that no longer buffer, support, hold in check, but rather, some scene set.

Hence why some do tragic things that we wouldn’t have thought they would have, sadly,
And why we should always treat others very carefully and thoughtfully.
And why all those valuable things we once upheld should be reinstated,
Given all the damage that their wrongful dismissal has generated.

So much can contribute, so much can light a fire within, badly inflame;
A marital break up, a broken home, child abuse, cutting words, loss, shame.
It seems we’re hell bent on hurting one another, and then we wonder why
Shooting sprees and suicides occur — and still, violence we glorify.

Oh yes, it’s all very fathomable, there is always a reason why,
So we’re wasting our time scratching our heads, as there’s nothing to mystify.
Though we may not know the exact reason for many of the things we see,
One thing’s for sure: There is one, one usually smouldering quietly.

So let’s be very careful how we treat others, lest baleful seeds are sown,
For out of such, terrible and tragic occurrences have often grown.
Be they via the barrel of a gun, or a hundred and one other ways,
All of which seem to be on the increase, and more horrific these days.

Yes, those who’re wounded are more likely to wound others, sometimes fatally,
And as long as people continue to be mistreated, this we’ll see.
Seems few want to take ownership for having contributed in some way,
And those things that wound and fester, foolishly continue to do and say.

By Lance Landall

This poem is repeated elsewhere.

5.  Ticking Clocks

Seems that many have a mistaken picture of those who unleash much ill on society,
Be they sex offenders, those who brutally assault and murder, or who injure mentally.
And mistaken it certainly is, for many who commit such offences don’t look the part,
Some even good looking too, and to all appearances, they seemingly sound in mind and heart.

And on the other hand, many who look the part are of no concern, they simply looking so,
Though many who do look the part, do in fact act the part, and why it’s oft very hard to know.
Yes, sure there are those tell-tale signs in many, but in others, they’re somewhat hidden from one’s view,
And only picked up by the knowing, or psychologists, who any understanding pursue.

And hence all those ticking clocks, some obvious and some not, anger, hurt, frustration, obsession, and
Any number of other things going on within, which many people fail to understand,
For unless they’ve been there, sort of thing, had the same issues-cum-background, such they can hardly grasp,
And this being why when many hear of certain heinous offences, they incredulously gasp.

But you know, such isn't all that hard to understand, and why it behoves us to study,
And mind what we say and do, because many are badly in need of help, much healing mentally.
And many wanting help, wanting to be understood, for hey, they hardly chose their injury,
Such usually occurring in the tender years where minds and hearts are more fragile, and very!

And hence that awesome responsibility on parents, lest their child afflict society,
For children need a positive foundation, love, hope, values, direction and security.
And with it, no exposure to the likes of that trash on TV which acts so injuriously,
Hence that copycat behaviour, that growing callousness, that obsession with sex that we see.

But add such to an injured tender mind, violated body, or latchkey situation,
And some ticking clock is waiting for something to move its hands into that trigger position.
And what has some gasp come the six o’clock News is the tip of an iceberg, far more in waiting;
Those baleful influences and sins of the fathers (and mothers too), such accelerating.

And hence why we need to get to the root of things, just what sets a child on a downward path, or
Has someone acting criminally, heading down that age old destructive, callous corridor.
'Cause reasons there are (random behaviour aside), and they usually occurring early,
And over time forming an explosive cluster, which, come any match, look out society.

And who’s child-cum-adult might that be? Well, too many point to less well-off families, sadly,
Which is hardly fair, as it has more to do with parenting and not hardship-cum-poverty.
Hence why criminals also come from well-off families, so much happening behind closed doors,
Along with any bad influences outside the home, which can affect both the rich and poor.

And do, for most children are feeding from the same poisoned wells-cum-rubbing shoulders with ill, or
They being neglected and abused, and discipline and boundaries having long gone out the door.
Yes, morals, principles, standards and values having been kicked out too, and why we see  much ill,
Such blighting both the rich and poor alike, enter those who maim, terrorise, rape, abuse, steal and kill.

Yes, ticking clocks.

By Lance Landall

6.  When Anger Burns

When most get angry over something, their anger is singular, of that moment-cum-current injury,
But when damaged people get angry over something, their anger's oft plural, past and present injury;
In other words, all that anger that’s been bottled up over time is oft mixed with the current injury,
The previous anger being stirred up by the current ill as if in protest at that further injury.

Hence why when damaged-cum-hurting people get angry over something, they oft overreact,  blow their top,
They akin to a fermenting bottle of something, or a balloon being filled with too much air, until, pop!
And yes, the fallout can be severe, that pressure within having been there too long, and very deep as well,
And why we should treat folk with care, for who such folk are, or how much pain lies within, we can’t always tell.

In fact, such damaged people need our care and attention before others, for others can wait, but not they,
As such folk have usually been left far too long as it is, and dare we their healing further delay.
For who knows where the hands are on their ticking clock, and what might suddenly happen, be such suicide or
Serious injury coming someone’s way, for those who’ve been mistreated often try to even the score.


Too many people avoid such hard to fix cases, which hardly speaks well of them, for how deeply do they care?
Aside from the fact that their indifference amounts to foolishness, for at the consequences they sneer,
Well, effectively, that is — their understanding and compassion stunted, or they too busy-cum-distracted,
Such all adding to the reasons why so many damaged people have very injuriously acted.

Oh, when anger burns.

By Lance Landall

7.  When Helps Not There

There are many who’re in need of help, and they wanting help, but what do they do when help’s not there,
Or at least not as it should be, needs to be? Enter frustration, hurt, depression and despair.
All why many who’re trying to change give up, return to their old ways — they thinking, “What’s the use?”
And given some can’t cope on their own, and make little headway, it’s no wonder that such they deduce.

It’s so easy to bag people behaving poorly, but how many cries have gone unheard, or,
To put it another way, have been ignored? Others not responding to their knock on the door.
All why some who’re feeling desperate turn to desperate measures — and yes, now we’re talking crime,
Which could've been avoided if someone had thrown them a lifeline, or some ladder to climb.

“It’s their problem,” people say — well, not for long, 'cause ignored cries fester, hence some backlash that comes,
And bearing in mind too, that things can become too much for some, and why we need to do our sums.
Otherwise, something unfortunate can duly come our way, or ripple through society,
Such being good reason why we shouldn’t ignore anyone’s struggles-cum-cries and anxiety.

Yes, ignored cries will always impact on society, those pathetic token gestures too,
'Cause little achieves little in most cases — and so many, substantial help need and are due.
And why many who lose heart add to their problems, they feeling doomed anyway, so what the heck,
Given their ignored cries, those sad token gestures, or that help that comes too late rather than quick.

By Lance Landall

8.  I'm A Weary Traveller

Yes, I’m a weary traveller, one who's often in need of a hand,
'Cause my life's been a struggle, and sometimes I feel I’m on sinking sand.
And even though I’m your fellow human, I often feel so alone,
Because the hearts of some people I meet, appear to be made of stone.

Yes, many who could help me, simply turn their back and walk away,
While others make excuses, toss some token gesture, or wrong things say,
Which means my cries often go unanswered, so I try to do my best,
But there are those days when I dearly wish that I could be laid to rest.

I’d rather not ask for help, but swallow my pride? I'm afraid I must,
'Cause so often I need the help of others, though some betray my trust.
I would go it alone if I were able, but there're times I just can’t,
Though when I cry out for help, are people there? Usually they aren’t.

And yes, there are many like me, who just can't seem to get by alone,
Yes, others who are struggling also — and likewise, mostly on their own.
And they too — like me — are seeking help, help that so often isn’t there,
Hence why many fall by the wayside, their burdens just too much to bare.

There're many who could help the likes of us via their time or expertise,
Even via their money or possessions, or whatever else would ease.
However, most of those people don't, won't, or not as much as they could,
And in most cases, I might add, certainly not as much as they should.

All why for many out there, life is a battle, one that never ends,
One that many people don’t understand, looking through their coloured lens,
Yes, many just seeing what they want to see, not what they need to,
Leaving many to struggle greatly, and suffer — and oh, how they do.

And some of them are close to suicide, hence that need to take great care,
Lest what you do or don’t do be their last straw — and you, thereby guilt share.
Not directly (or intentionally), but indirectly, in some way,
And therefore, it really does matter what you do or don’t do, or say.

Yes, some are very badly scarred, ticking time bombs ready to explode,
Or loose cannons, which very thoughtlessly lit, will no doubt fire their load.
And which ones might they be? Well, who knows? So — once again — please take great care,
Lest you light a match, or even become the victim of their despair.

All why it pays to stop and lend a hand, or be a listening ear,
And why it pays to look around you to find who’s struggling, needing care,
'Cause those who are standing near an edge, you could push, or maybe rescue,
Depending on what you do or don’t do, what you do or don’t say too.

Yes, I’m a weary traveller. Is it possible you passed me by?
Perhaps you didn’t see me standing there, or hear me, I wonder why?
Or maybe you did see me, did stop, gave a hand, just one of the few,
Which truly makes all the difference, and why I’m so grateful, THANK YOU!

By Lance Landall

This poem was upgraded on 20 December 2021.

9.  Early And Quickly

So many have issues, be it low self-esteem, some obsession, or whatever it be,
Issues that need early intervention, and lest things worsen, affect their maturity.
In other words, so many carry such ills into what becomes a crippled adulthood,
They not having received the help they should’ve, and adding to such, they oft not understood.

Hence why society should be geared up to spot such issues early, thus acting quickly,
For many could be helped, turned around, their issues no longer afflicting society,
And they, no longer dogged by such, and nor their relationships, marriage, or own family,
And thus all and sundry benefiting as a result through acting early and quickly.

But where’s the will, the passion, time, effort and money too oft going elsewhere, and wrongly?
Hence those further suicides, divorces, criminal acts, or whatever the case may be.
And we with blood on our hands, albeit indirectly, our attention having been elsewhere,
And by that I mean, selfishly and thoughtlessly, our lack of care-cum-indifference clear.

Yes, who wants to bother with other peoples’ issues, it seems, and why such falls on so few,
Hence why most people are left with their issues, which somehow, somewhere, sees things going askew.
And no surprises there, for issues seldom resolve themselves, but rather, remain and smoulder,
All being why we shouldn’t wait until such issues become compounded, and such folk older.

By Lance Landall

10.  Punching The Punched

“Here we go again,” Peggy muttered crossly, “Another case of child abuse. How such really angers me.”
Her friend glanced at her in a way that had her wondering. “Well, there’s far too much of it, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Oh, I’d agree alright,” Dawn responded, “And such upsets me too, but then it comes as no surprise to me,
'Cause abused children are oft the product of parents who’ve been abused, and why we need to tread carefully.

There’re those who would string such parents up (if they got half a chance), but that would be acting just as terribly,
'Cause abusers who’ve been abused themselves have somewhat been programmed to do the same, enter psychology.
All why they should be treated sensitively too, though I’m not condoning their dreadful actions, believe me,
But at the end of the day, what’s love? Is it something we only show to the loving? Because if that’s so,

It doesn't sound like much of a love to me, and going by that criteria, how much would people show,
'Cause how many are squeaky-clean when it comes to the way they treat others? Well, not too many that I know.
No, they wouldn’t hurt their darling children, perhaps, but oh dear, most aren’t beyond hurting somebody out there,
Including the likes of those poor parents who have been abused themselves, and whom the tragic scars of such bear.”

“So what do we do then,” Peggy questioned, “Do we just let them off?”  “Well, I’m hardly suggesting that, Peggy,
But we do need to be looking at more constructive approaches as opposed to punitive ones, surely.
It’s all very well to jump on offenders, but bear in mind that those kids they abused will no doubt err too,
And thus all we’ll be doing is locking up the lot, they all suffering again — so much for our IQ.

It seems to me that we’re either too soft or too harsh, and are unable to do things in a balanced way, sadly,
And too often are simply fixated on certain things, like that 'let’s make prisons tougher' mentality.
'Cause pity help the wrongly accused who ends up in such a harsh jail, given there’s been so many of them,
And why knee-jerk reactions, draconian measures, and insensitivity-cum-ignorance I condemn.”

Peggy found her voice. “I see what you mean, Dawn, we effectively punching the punched.”  “Yes, Peggy, exactly.”

By Lance Landall

11.  Society's Bad Eggs

We talk a lot about putting folk in prison (society’s bad eggs), whom we condemn ferociously,
And admittedly prisons are needed, and many in them very evil indeed, unfortunately.
But to be honest, there’re far more bad eggs walking amongst us than there are in prison, and just as nasty,
Who simply haven’t been caught yet, or committed their crime yet, and some of them don’t look bad or scary.

And all those who do go to prison, very seldom come out better than they went in, unsurprisingly,
For though prisons are necessary, they do little to improve the incarcerated, ridiculously.
And nor does hard labour, for punishment is simply punishment, and unable to change one’s heart or mind,
Which is why rehabilitation is more important than those prison walls that so many are behind.

Therefore, the length of time in prison is far less important than the prisoner’s rehabilitation,
For it’s change that’s needed, unless we’re all about punishment, which just adds to the prison population,
And which also embitters the inmates, the opposite to what is best, unless of course, we just don’t care,
Which wouldn’t say much for us, for either we’re humane or not, our goodness genuine, or just a veneer.

Surely those who’ve a good heart and mind are more interested in a person’s betterment than punishment,
And thus their greater benefit to society, for there’s little benefit where more time in jail’s spent.
And surely they wouldn’t want to make jails tougher either, for too many innocents have been locked away,
And come the future, it could be any one of us, who had nothing whatsoever to do with foul play.

At the end of the day, it’s not about prisons or punishment, but all about changing the heart and mind,
That is, the rebuilding of each prisoner, helping them to put their wrong behaviour and past well behind.
Its better that something good come out of their crime, and there’s nothing better than their rehabilitation,
Whereby, they can make some sort of societal amends, which they can’t if still in jail, nursing retaliation.

And bear in mind, that many who’ve committed crimes, didn’t stand a chance given their unfortunate background,
And that there are those whose crime was not premeditated, and who, very evil offenders now surround.
Yes, offenders who influence for the worse rather than for the better, just another result of jails,
That we really need to be getting folk out of, they readjusted and more sound, no longer off the rails.

There’ll always be those who’ll probably remain behind bars, seemingly beyond redemption, tragically,
But lifetime sentences are simply punishment, and surely very short-sighted, costing society.
Better the offender become a restored and productive contributor, and as soon as possible,
That is, within reason, for punishment only goes so far, and more oft just fuels that prison carousel.

Or is revenge sweeter, currently, and our pain obscuring our objectivity.

By Lance Landall

By the way,

12.  Perhaps I Shouldn't Say This

Oh, that clamour for the death penalty, which, if they really want revenge, say,
Doesn’t make sense, ’cause executing someone is hardly how one makes them pay.
But more solitary confinement, they cooped up for life, oft going crazy,
Which many who have experienced lockdown would relate to, if you ask me.

Oh, how hard they found such, even when having the run of their house and section,
So imagine a little cell, and for life — now can you see the connection?
Come that lethal injection or whatever, it’s over in a minute, and
They hardly being punished, dead to the world, less reason to strike up the band.

And with life in a death row type cell (not that such cruelty goes down with me),
The wrongly accused won’t be put to death, like has happened far too frequently.
And thus supporters and lawyers able to keep up that battle to free them,
Because many who’re innocent, some court or jury has chosen to condemn.

And the death penalty barbaric, a tit for tat scenario, sadly,
We thereby hardly showing a more advanced and enlightened mentality.
And the same when it comes to solitary confinement, neither the best way,
But rather than rehabilitation, there’s that obsession to make them pay.

By Lance Landall

This poem was tweaked 5 August 2021.

A book that may change your mind:
Just Revenge by Mark Costanzo, PH.D
Costs and consequences of the death penalty.

Empathy and warning.

13.  To The Angry Young

Dear troubled one (and this from a fellow sufferer), I so desire to relieve that pain within you,
'Cause within my life (a book now in its final chapters), I have felt that coldness and cruelty too.
And just like you, I’ve walked that same lonely road, thought about ending it all — and I, just as angry,
Others unable to understand the turmoil within (and nor I), not that they tried, quite frankly.

So yes, I can imagine how you’re feeling, how you may want to lash out — “I’ll show 'em!
I’ll teach 'em!” —
Yes, been there done that, their indifference much like sandpaper, and at times, inner rage to the brim.
Oh, how I could’ve kicked back, they so sure they had the answers-cum-me sassed out, such fuelling the fire,
I confused, lacking confidence, insecure, even scared — and against me, life seeking to conspire.

I’ve no doubts such harks back to my childhood, but hey, I’m no psychologist, and what do they really know,
Though I guess they've their place, and a caring counsellor too, but the trouble's getting a good one though.
I know that they’re out there, read enough books to know, but they aren't about — well, at least when one needs them,
Though there're plenty of armchair critics about with lots to say, and who point their fingers and condemn.

Now mind, 'cause if there’s help of sorts available, go for it, but there’s no magic wand, kind of thing,
And this why I too, don't have all the answers (and may never have), though I’m grateful for anything.
But I can say this (having lived for many years), don’t make things worse for yourself, nor cut your life short,
'Cause you’re too darn precious for that, even if no one's told you so, nor given you the time or thought.

Okay, so you’ve messed up — well, you haven’t got that on your own (and such is no wonder) yes, me too,
But you’ve got your whole life ahead of you, so don’t let your background wreck that, because you will get through,
And still have a good life too, though if you’ve a mind too, and that’s the key, as the past we can’t undo,
'Cause even when we figure out what went wrong, why we're like we are, it still comes down to me and you.

This world's full of the walking wounded, oft the result of bad parenting, parents not being there,
They busy with their career, too tired once home, many working due to necessity, to be fair.
Hence those latchkey kids, mums not there when they’re babes, infants, toddlers, preschoolers, nor there through their school years,
Hence that empty house, they lonely, neglected, and thus feeling rejected, no waiting arms or ears.

So I understand — and oh, how oft things compound the situation — and yes, help not always there,
Hence why we wounded oft have to make it on our own, but here's something useful I’d like to share,
And though it may sound corny, it’s a constructive thing, and a friend, but forgive me, a kind of prayer:
“Help me to be to others what I so desire they'd be to me, but aren’t,” because the answer’s there.

You see, people may never be there for us like they should be, and many simply don’t understand,
Nor care, and thus we wasting our time feeling angry, rather than getting what we can from life, and,
Putting our own experience to good use by reaching out to fellow sufferers, we near at hand,
Rather than letting our wounds spoil the rest of our life, or see us take our life, when hope’s near at hand.

And that hope's found in healing that comes from our caring for others, 'cause there’s no hope in being angry,
And all it does is finish the job that the wounder started, or worsen our battle, pointlessly.
Sure we’re handicapped, but not without ability, and nor incapable of victory,
Thus refusing to be victims, throwing off that mantle of oppression they placed on us so cruelly,

   Even unintentionally.

Yes, I know how much such hurts and hampers, and it’s the reason for our behaviour, but no excuse,
'Cause two wrongs don’t make a right, we not indulging in the same folly which will increase, not reduce.
It’s best we cut our losses, make the best of a bad situation, turning the tables on fate,
'Cause life’s an opportunity many don’t even get, too precious to waste on anger and hate.

Despite those things that can dog our steps (more so if we let them), we can still rise above such, and should,
Seeking what will aid us on the path to recovery, and when we do, success the likelihood,
'Cause as they say, where there’s the will there’s a way, and wounds common fare, thus something dealt with on the way,
And such how we achieve happiness regardless, joy midst the rain, and how in life’s puddles we play.

So don't nurse your wounds, nor become the prisoner of your background or the hostage of your thoughts — and please,
Don’t take it out on others, 'cause they've oft wounds of their own, some sad background which their joy seeks to seize.
And as I mentioned, it’s pointless to add to our load, more so when there's hope at the end of that road,
Which one may not think at the time, but trust me, I’ve been there, and all of which my attitude overrode.

By Lance Landall

This poem was tweaked 4 August 2021.

14.  It's All About Arriving

Have you ever got really angry over something and badly blown up,
And gone on and on about it, smouldering away, and thus not letting up?
And perhaps those occasions have been quite a few, you really acting badly,
Your behaviour destructive and damaging, hurting others and family.

And the truth is, you really not realising how bad your behaviour’s been,
Having been so used to being you, not fully able to see how it’s seen.
Oh yes, others aware, but not you when it comes to the full extent, and so
There you are, being who you’ve always been, until your true self you get to know.

And oh, how long that often takes, that sad trail having stretched years behind you,
Until the speed got slower and slower, and there having been a change in view.
Yes, you seeing like you’d not seen before, age opening both your eyes and ears,
And then, regretful and sorrowful, you reached that boulevard of joy and tears.

Yes, the joy that came with that change, and the tears that came with that recognition,
You feeling the difference within you, and embracing that heartfelt contrition.
Your growth having come slowly, but at least arriving, and hence that high five,
’Cause at the end of the day, slower or faster, the main thing is to arrive.

By Lance Landall

This poem was penned on 3 June 2022 after the Amber Heard And Johnny Depp trial in May 2022.

15.  I Heard That Amber Heard Lied

Even if Amber Heard has lied, say, going by the verdict of the jury,
Feigning it all, acting revengefully (and only God knows, quite honestly),
One should feel quite sorry for her too, because if the above is in fact true
What on Earth makes someone become like that, thus help and not scorn being our cue.

Wrong is wrong, evil is evil, but hey, lets think in terms of restoration,
Helping her to see, turning her around, not worsening the situation.
She having to live with herself, the bad press and all, it a lifelong sentence,
And Heaven wise, her only hope being an awakening and repentance.

Yes, Johnny Depp having suffered, say, but she too, via hateful public opinion,
Which isn’t worth an Oscar either, not one of us being free of some sin.
Many out there no better than what’s been said of her, yet much they’ve had to say,
When help seems what she needs — a saviour, say, one who’s conversant with fractured clay.

And it appearing that both her and Johnny have issues, damage of some sort,
Thus both in need of help, not that dragging of each other through some public court.
Though having said that, courts sometimes necessary, and woe the one who’s lying,
Because the moment one indulges in such, something within soon starts dying.

Yes, perjury’s no small crime, but it’s what it does to us, and to others too,
It but a mental form of cancer, one that sadly afflicts more than a few.
It but a fool’s game, bound to come back to bite us, and all why we shouldn’t lie,
Though a turnaround and confession bringing remission, lest in that lie we die.

By Lance Landall


Christian content or degree.

16.  There Once Was A Dear Wee Boy

There once was a dear wee boy, but tragic things happened along the way,
Which left him rather messed up within, and hence certain behaviour, sad to say.
Yes, he a much loved entertainer, extremely talented and likeable,
But he dying accused and alone, the end of his life just as horrible.

Well, there’s many tortured people out there like him, they what some would call a mess,
Dear wee souls who’ve become a sad picture, though admired for their cleverness.
And God choking up over them, it breaking His heart, and it should break ours too,
’Cause we should have that same love and care for them that He has for us, through and through.

Everyone’s a precious soul, so God not writing anyone off, and He
Wanting to help with any mess, which we should be helping with too, thoughtfully.
Many out there not altogether bad, more messed up, hence things they do too,
They so in need of both Someone and someone, and why I’ve mentioned this to you.

Yes, there once was a dear wee boy (or girl), someone’s child, but damaged they became,
Another wounded soul wounding them, perhaps, ’cause it’s known the wounded maim.
Yes, be it mentally or physically, or both, and very sad it is,
But even more so when they have that same talent and likableness as his.

When a dear wee boy or girl enters this world, and given how short life is too,
Nothing harmful and deliberate should mar or hamper them, and lest ill brew.
Oh, how precious those wee ones are, and precious they should remain ’till their life’s spent,
And God desiring it no other way, and why “Mind those little ones” He meant.

By Lance Landall

Addded to 18 August 2021.

Christian content or degree.

17.  Don't Multiply Your Pain, Nor Shorten Your Chances

Anger’s very bad for us, and so is nursing our wounds, and this all why we
(Given the harm mentally and physically), should deal with things more wisely.
The truth is that we’re hardly living in a paradise, but on planet Earth,
Where, thanks to a fallen angel removed from Heaven, ill and evil gave birth.

And so suffer we will, one way or another, until that coming rescue,
Where Christ returns for those brave souls, who, despite their pain, the best and right thing do.
Yes, they bearing things in His strength, forgiving their accusers and abusers,
So unlike the foolish one who that healing and life-changing path refuses.

And thereby, the latter multiplying their pain, and shortening their chances,
’Cause anger only festers and rots, and negativity hampers answers.
It’s better to cut our losses, make the best of what’s left, ushering in hope,
And where still suffering from the hurtful effects of ill, Christ helping us cope.

At the end of the day, the trick is to lessen, not add to our woes, and thus
We following that healthy and far more hopeful meantime advice of Jesus.
’Cause despite any new life that’s to come, we’ve this current one to deal with, and
The better we deal with it, the brighter things will be, though not all goes as planned.

Hence why we need that hope and trust in something beyond us, the answer not here,
Planet Earth in its death throes, and thus a lack of hope and trust leading to fear.
Nothing’s gained without some effort of some kind, and here, letting that anger go,
Thus dealing with damage rightly, baggage both pointless and troublesome to tow.

And Christ not wanting that baggage turning up in His arrival lounge, which means
It needs to be left where it belongs, with that devil who badgers us and schemes.
He wanting us to multiply our pain, wanting us to shorten our chances,
When all we have to do is leave things in God’s hands, ’cause He’s the one with answers.

And the biggest answer being that rescue of His, which first starts in our mind,
We thus freed from the bondage of anger and resentment, that which makes one blind.
We no longer controlled by an inner rage or any wound, but freed to fly,
And even higher we’ll fly when our returning Saviour appears in the sky.

So please don’t multiply your pain, shorten your chances, thus hurting others too,
Like your loved ones, say, who their very own testing trials might be going through.
The wounded too often wounding, and thus adding to all the evil and ill,
Rather than breaking those harmful, self-defeating cycles, which I pray you will.

It’s bad enough when others hurt us, but crazy when we hurt ourselves, and so
We turning the tables on ill, and thereby, making a friend out of some foe.
In other words, growing from the experience, and even far better still,
Able to see God’s love working those sad things for our good, which means all is well.

So please don’t multiply your pain, nor shorten your chances, but let it all go,
We often the victims of victims, those who have also suffered via some foe.
Satan seeking everyone, and though he may use others, don’t let him use you,
’Cause all he’ll do is multiply your pain and shorten your chances, life-span too.

But God waiting to lessen your pain, heighten your chances, and lengthen your life,
Eternal bliss beckoning, and freedom from suffering, worry, hurt and strife.
It’s up to you, ’cause God won’t force, He simply waiting until you say, “I do,”
Your chances then greater come Heaven and Earth, and this decision you won’t rue.

Yes, troubles come, troubles go, making or breaking us, we rising or falling,
On one hand Satan distracting, diverting, and on the other, Christ calling.
Yes, on the one hand Satan tripping us up, and on the other, dear Jesus
Waiting to offer us a hand up, and always seeking what is best for us.

By Lance Landall

So What Are Some Of These Things That Have Contributed To The Angry And The Damaged?

Child abuse (be it sexual or otherwise).
Emotional trauma.
Bad influences.
Parental neglect, irresponsibility.
One parent homes.

Lack of family ties.
Exposure to destructive, lawless, violent, and/or pornographic content via TV or computer.
Financial struggles.
Lack of hope (one cause being no foundational beliefs that provide hope beyond this world, coupled with a lack of respect for life (others) and the repudiation of morals, principles and standards that steer one away from wrong and ill).