Festive news stories: wrap them up in poetry and send them to poetry24ed@gmail.com

Thursday, 29 March 2012

A Shooting in Florida

Blood shed,
but on whose hands the stain,
a crimson red,
hoodies blamed,
the press unbound by facts or details,
only hope to ignite the fire,
and fan the flames,
the life lost,
dancing eyes in the photograph,
the smile a killer,
racism questioned,
as once again a nation lost,
over reacts,
and immature,
the whole story never known.

© Douglas Polk

Trayvon Martin Shooting Doesn't Slow 'Stand Your Ground' Bills
Douglas is a poet from Nebraska. He has published three books of poetry; In My Defense, The Defense Rests, and On Appeal.


  1. racism questioned,
    as once again a nation lost,
    over reacts,

    (Clearly, you did not research and look further into the subject you so blatantly cheat of it's proper respect and attention. It's a shame that you think a nation has overreacted to something that has never stopped occurring in the life experience of black males, since being horded on ships and brought to the United States. I respect everyone's right to express their views. I just wished you would have thought more seriously about approaching a topic you have made a joke. No your topic/subjects. Don't just write "whatever". Be a true poet and know what you are writing about.)

    1. I meant no disrespect, but I stand by my poem.
      racism questioned . . .the question is whether this situation was provoked by racism or not.
      as once again a nation lost . . .it seemed to me, mainly because of the laws in Florida, no one knew how to react to this event. The media is attempting to influence how we as a nation do react.
      over reacts, . . .it seems to me, unless eye witnesses come forward we will never know the whole story. Yet people are using this tragedy for their own ends. Especially the media . . .
      thank you for taking the time to respond to the poem. I don't think this is a joke, or that I treated it as one, but I do appreciate you voicing your opinion and concerns about my poetry. Thanks again.

  2. In defence of ‘A shooting in Florida’, I don’t think Douglas Polk intends to cause offence by by accusing ‘a nation’ (the USA) of ‘overreacting’ to Trayvon Martin’s killing. Rather, I think his accusations are directed at the media:

    the press unbound by facts or details (l.5)
    . . .
    over reacts,
    and immature

    Here, Polk is making criticisms similar to those of journalist Dylan Stableford in his article ‘Trayvon Martin case exposes worst in media’:

    ‘The Trayvon Martin case has exposed some of the media’s worst tendencies – selective editing, rushing to judgement, stoking anger for ratings and page views . . .’

    Stableford goes on to outline three ‘troubling examples’ at:


    It seems, then, that Polk is in fact informed on the current debate over the media in the US, and means to treat the subject seriously.

    1. Thank you for your comments. You read the intent of the poem perfectly. It is rewarding for me as a writer when a poem connects . . .thanks again.