Not Why

I wrote this after Newtown, but it still resonates as strongly now as ever…as if I wrote it for Boston, for Chicago, for Chibok, for Melbourne, for Paris. We have to stop killing each other. We have to stop hating each other.


Be still this heart
Lay to rest this reckless wandering
This hopeless asking why
There are too many whys
Too few of which are acceptable

What purpose or cause can I give to a child who can no longer see red without weeping?

What purpose or cause do I give to her mother who now holds too tight, too long and she places her on the school bus

What purpose
What cause do I give to myself?
My mind?
My guilty, guilty conscience
Wondering if I, too did not help him pull that trigger 27 times

We watch our hearts ripped out from their spaces
And again
Feel the burn of it
The warm of it
The sting of it
Over and again

Yet never think to ask the necessary question

Not who or what

But how can we? How can we stand to see men and women and children
Turned into gunpowder and lace
How can we stand to throw those whose minds are fragile enough to mistake death for redemption
On the streets

Who can we blame ?
what hands, what lips can we use to convict
When it was our own calloused hands, used against us

We arm ourselves
Build our fences higher
Burn the path that leads to our front door and fasten the lock behind us
Thinking that alone can save us

Hold our babies closer and pray it will not be us next time




“Let me tell you about love, that silly word you believe is about whether you like somebody or whether somebody likes you or whether you can put up with somebody in order to get something or someplace you want or you believe it has to do with how your body responds to another body like robins or bison or maybe you believe love is how forces or nature or luck is benign to you in particular not maiming or killing you but if so doing it for your own good. Love is none of that. There is nothing in nature like it. Not in robins or bison or in the banging tails of your hunting dogs and not in blossoms or suckling foal. Love is divine only and difficult always. If you think it is easy you are a fool. If you think it is natural you are blind. It is a learned application without reason or motive except that it is God.” Toni Morrison

A Writer Maybe

What makes me a writer? If I can’t clear my mind for long enough to develop a character, am I still a writer? If story ideas flood my brain and then slowly slip away, before I can find a pen and paper, am I still a writer? If I go for weeks without writing a single thing that’s worth a damn, am I still a writer?

When I was young, they called me gifted. I knew, even then, that a story well woven had to be coaxed from its shell, lured softly and seductively to your side, wrestled roughly into submission, sometimes.

But look at me now. Head full of half baked plot lines and cliches. Am I still a writer? What ever happened to the magic that used to drop from my pen? What has become of the honey dipped words that once flowed so freely? If I’m too afraid to fail, does that make me a writer also?

Perhaps it is the one thing we all have in common.

– soo

New Years

New year
Full of potential
Full of promise
Full of failures we hope to forget at the stroke of midnight
What really matters is that
You are here
Next to me
By my side
I don’t know what will happen
When the clock strikes
I don’t think I even really care
As long as you’re right here
Right near
Right here
I have so much to look forward to