I assume that, combined with other recent events of random freelance terror, we are going to be subjected to the usual chorus of hand wringing and hypocrisy from political and religious leaders. There will be demands and leaders will pretend that they can "do something".
A policeman on every corner, metal scanners at every school, a lock on every door, obsequious presence of video cameras, vain calls for morality and righteousness in homes and public life and a guard behind every bed -- none of this will help.
The "incidence of evil" is something which has and always will occur as long as there is a pestilence in the land. However, in our world of high technology and intertwined interdependencies, the acts themselves can be more terrible and the effects on us magnified.]
1. Such Pestilence
It's kind of hard to understand, my friends,
The way we all fret about the odds and ends
Of things. As if somehow we could change
The incidence of evil, or perhaps explain
The way it sometimes boils into rage,
Explodes and splatters across the newspaper page
And shatters our peace of mind-- yet once again!
"A Wave of Evil!"
"The Consequence of Sin!"
Our leaders groan in their feigned innocence!
The world is based upon violence!
Almost every child knows this fact!
In fact, it is often part of the very act
Which brings us into our mortal existence!
How many, if any, are free of such pestilence?
[The above is the first of a cycle of 14 poems where the last line of each poem is the first line of the following. They were composed over a fortnight the summer of 1999, apparently as a reaction to Columbine.
The themes which developed as the work unfolded seem even more pertinent today than seven years ago. That's my reason to post the rest of the cycle the following days]