The bloody gun and brief reflection


The soldier was tired of his bloody gun.
He saw a young stranger
And handed him the gun.
Here take this.
The stranger said,
I will take it, but what will I do with it?
The soldier had walked away.
I will give this gun to the ocean.
He gave the gun to the ocean.
I will take it but what will I do with it?
The stranger had walked away.
I will wash the blood off this gun,
I will give it to the depths.

Ocean gave the gun to the depths.
I will take it but what will I do with it?
The sea had closed its ears.
The depths held the gun for a hundred years.
I will give the gun to time.
Time said, I will take it
But what will I do with it?

The depths had closed its heart.
Time gave the gun to the reef.
I will take it, said the reef
But what will I do with it?
Time had passed on.
The reef held the gun for a thousand years
And then a thousand more.
Now the gun said,
I am tired of being a gun,
But what will I do with myself?

I will give myself to peace.
Peace said to the gun, I will take you.
I know what to do with you.

Peace held the gun tenderly,
Tenderly, tenderly,
Because the world had finally changed.
…………………….

This is a little parable of the gun as hot potato. The message of this poem is, there is no way to get rid of a gun given the violent nature of humanity. It can’t be lost or recycled or destroyed because. . .it’s an archetype! It can only be transformed, but the only way for that to happen is the human race needs to evolve out of its violent nature. This situation reminds me of the story of Odysseus. At the end of his epic journey, Athena knows that just returning to Ithaca isn’t enough because he has the ocean in his soul, and after twenty years of wandering he will never sink roots. She instructs him to carry an oar from his ship far inland until someone asks him why he is carrying a winnowing fan. With the gun, the situation is similar. The soul of the gun will continue to be bloody until some day in the future when the inhabitants of the earth don’t know what a gun is. I think that’s the idea behind this poem.

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