Poetry With A Mission



...a thought provoking poetical exercise.

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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 breakup, 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 smoldering 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 that few want to take ownership for having contributed in some way,But hey, back to where I came in, and a word to the wives of those physical men,
Who, by the way, need help rather than punishment so that they won’t injure again.
It’s better to use healing balm than any words or actions that will further stir,
And that will simply worsen a bad situation, not that I mean to infer.

And those things that wound and fester, foolishly continue to do and say.

By Lance Landall


You may also like to read my poem To The Angry Young which can be found in the orange box titled What's Child Abuse?, or my poem Domestic Abuse which can be found in the orange box titled Love The Girl.




2.  Don't Help Tip The Scales

He’s angry, very angry — in other words, smarting badly, dangerously,
For 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



3.  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 telltale 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 hence why when many folk 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, for many folk 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.
For 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






This poem is done in a form somewhat like that of the song Ode To Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry

4.  When Pots Boil Over

It was a rather drab day and Dad had just walked in the door, a meal on the table for the family.
Mum passed the potatoes and Dad took his share, the rest of us waiting for grace which soon came, and gratefully.
Dad seemed more serious and silent than usual. “Everything all right, dear? Sorry, finish your mouthful.”
And Dad leaned back a little, raised his head, his gaze still on his food, and he appearing uncomfortable.

“Jimmy took out six people this morning with a loaded gun, then turned it on himself. Pass the gravy, please.”
No one spoke, we all like stunned mullets, Mum mechanically passing the gravy boat. “Thanks, the salt too, please.”
The salt passed hands as Dad continued the story, we too shocked to say anything, Jimmy only thirty three.
“They say that before he fired, he was yelling something about folk not being there for him and his family…

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

Dad broke the silence again. “He was as angry as a riled hornet, screaming how little folk really cared,
And how they’d treated him as if he were a joke, just because he’d struggled with things, even certain things feared.
He mentioned something about how they could’ve at least helped his wife and kids, not punished them because of him.”
And we all glanced at each other again, we wondering what guilt might lie with us, our expressions somewhat grim.

Mum rescued the patties from the oven, she finding her voice. “But hasn't he just worsened things for them, dear?”
“Well, when a pot boils over it hardly switches itself off, and it can often badly burn whoever is near.”
“Patties, dear?”  “Yes, thanks — and in such a case as this, those who boil over can turn on those they view as guilty,
One of his victims being someone else we know — Zackary — but that’s the inevitable reality.”

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

He spooned the gravy. "So many are in need of help one way or another. Wouldn’t mind another pattie.”
“Sure, dear.” Dad rested his fork and Mum fetched the tray. “You know, it surely pays for us to act more thoughtfully,
And by that I mean, we taking a greater interest in those around us, even going without too,
Well, at times, that is, in order to ease another’s lot, and lest ill feelings fester, and things go askew.”

Another family member found her voice. “Yes, many of us don’t do as much as we could, I must say.”
Dad’s fork probed the other 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, or fail to see our shortcomings, and too conveniently,
Our sad oversight or thoughtlessness encouraging or triggering those loaded guns, inevitably.”

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

“Many tragedies could no doubt have been prevented if folk had responded with the appropriate care,
They taking the time to help such ones, such oft only amounting to being an attentive listening ear.
In other words, just being there for those who’re struggling in some way, but where people can, they doing what they can,
And not waiting to be asked either, but seeking with charitable eyes that the width and breadth of Earth scan.”

We all nodded our heads in agreement and the room fell silent except for the chatter of knives and forks,
Such certainly not the usual subject matter come our family meals and around the table talks.
Mum’s voice finally broke our quiet ponderings. “Such a cost,” she said, “And then there’s his wife and children, oh dear.”
And as she began to clear the table she looked at us all, as mothers do, and there flowed a little tear.

Well...

I’d known Jimmy for years, the family too, but more from a distance, a nod of the head, a wave of the hand,
And he seemed a nice enough guy, I now wishing I’d got to know him better, for such I could understand.
We’d had our struggles too, and well knew that cool air of indifference, something that really rubs when life’s low,
And why some unfortunates who’re seriously struggling, and dealing with goodness knows what, suddenly blow. 

By Lance Landall





5.  When Anger Burns

When most get angry over something, their anger is singular — of that moment-cum-current injury,
But when damaged folk get angry over something, their anger is 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 folk get angry over something, they oft overreact, or 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.

Yes…

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




6.  When Help's 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.
And why many who’re trying to change give up, return to their old ways — they thinking, “What’s the use?” —
And given that some can’t cope on their own, make little headway, it’s no wonder that such they deduce.

Yes, it’s so easy to bag folk 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.
And 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,” folk say — well, not for long, for ignored cries can 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,
For 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




7.  Any Fool Can Be A Fool

Hey, do you feel like a nobody, have folk oft thought negatively of you,
They condemning rather than helping, and are still clinging to their jaundice view?
And you’re feeling trapped, perhaps, unable to get past it all, though wanting to,
And in your madder moments, dreaming and scheming ’bout bad things you’d like to do.

“And being famous would help,” you’re thinking, “Add wealth and position to that list,”
’Cause you’re wanting to vent your spleen and kick back, wipe sneers off faces with your fist.
You imagining yourself with clout and power, as someone who’s in control,
And there’s the making of another Hitler, someone who’ll exact a high toll.

Well, stop!

For not only would such a path be wrong, but it would add to your misery;
Jail, a premature death, perhaps — and hey, think of what happened to Gaddafi.
And why it’s best you become known for the opposite reasons, famous for good,
’Cause if you’re looking for praise and acceptance, you won’t succeed if you’re a hood.

No, you’ll never live on in the minds of others as a hero, but a fool,
Folk laughing at you all the more; you wasting your time thinking such makes one cool.
And why you’re better to show them up by proving their negativity wrong,
For that is what makes a true hero, and thereby, places one amongst the strong.

By Lance Landall




8.  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,
For 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,
For abusers who’ve been abused themselves have somewhat been programmed to do the same — enter psychology —
And 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,
For 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 their abused children 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.
For 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




9.  I'm Angry Today

Yes, I’m angry today, so angry that many poor souls are going without while others have far more than they need,
And as if that’s not enough, the latter flaunt their wealth, callously indulge in extravagance while the others bleed.
It’s wrong! It’s cruel! And so unfair! Hence why the world needs a shake up, or at least those who are acting so dreadfully,
Gorging themselves materially while others starve and die, suffer through not having, or live in poverty.

And to add insult to injury, many who’ve enough are still seeking more, bemoaning the amount of tax they pay,
While the others can’t afford to visit the doctor, put the heater on, get things they need, day after stressful day.
And then to put the boot in, many with enough or more, turn on the welfare system and those in need of such,
And at that money that’s sorely needed for the protection of the ill and vulnerable, criminally clutch.

Yes, not content with their lovely home, (or have they two?), their expensive cars, yacht, shares in some company, and so on,
They complain about others draining their pocket, whilst holidaying in the likes of Spain, France, Russia or Saigon.
And whilst even on the make, for those with wealth are often the biggest takers, drainers and wasters, and yet cry, “Foul!”
When it’s the unfortunates who haven’t got and are going without who have more of a right to holler and howl.

And why on their behalf I rage here, for many need health care they can’t afford, and not through any fault of their own,
Or they haven’t a house, even a car — and as far as holidays go, you’ve got to be kidding — and then there’s that zone;
That is, that district that those who’ve more than enough won’t buy in, (even though it’s quite okay), thanks to their snobbery,
Which is oft another word for the middle-class and upper-class, though not all such folk act as pathetically.

And then there’re those family situations where some have and some don’t, and where those who don’t, struggle financially,
That is, while their siblings manage fine, and seldom help, if at all, caught up in that same selfish mentality.
And some even thinking that they can’t when they can, though such might mean going without something in order to give,
And that something being something they don’t need — but oh no — which as far as I’m concerned, is a horrible way to live.

Yes, while the poor suffer, many who’re wealthy, (and thanks to pure indulgence), drain resources, strip supplies; and charge sky-high,
Or are on appalling wages — CEOs — many draining tax payer’s money, greedily scoffing at the pie.
And yet, how oft the finger’s pointed elsewhere, whilst money lines the pockets of an elite and even secret few,
Where the real power is, and some hidden agenda, one designed to gain control of us all, and some evil pursue.

Yes, I’m angry today, as it’s hardly right that others suffer or die while others waste what could relieve and save,
While others just party, live in despotic luxury, wade in their self-importance, indifferently behave.
And thereby, thus join the ranks of the selfish, callous and thoughtless who have cursed this Earth throughout its sad history,
For such folk have no heart or conscience, or very little of each, and are effectively foes of humanity.

Yes, I’m angry today — and rightly so, I say.

By Lance Landall



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