This was in response to the boys who watched a man drown, while ridiculing him

 

“Your deeds are your monuments” – inscription on Egyptian tomb

In a flicker,
Across the boundaries of time,
I read in granite
“Your deeds are your monuments.”

Throughout this life and the next,
Carry your monument
Of inaction and ridicule,
Feel its density.

Feel its weight,
Like the weight of water,

Pulling a man below
The surface of your conscience.

 

32 thoughts on “The Weight of Water

  1. I just wanted to share something more about your excellent poem. We live in Orlando, about 40 miles from Cocoa. Yesterday, I was introducing our poetry unit in class (I teach HS Seniors – English) and while discussing the wide range of what poetry can do, I shared that I had read a poem the evening before about this horrific event that most of them were keenly aware of. I told them that a powerful poem can do far more than any news story. I am fortunate enough to have a group of kiddos this year who love poetry. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Conventions!? I’m in a digital school and that little red squiggly line is merely an annoyance!
        Yesterday I participated in a lengthy text thread with my daughter, who inherited the nerd gene, about semi-colons and FANBOYS.

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  2. This was a story I felt was unbearable… and it brings up the larger question of complacency… I think we are many that are guilty of inaction all the time and I think the burden of our own inaction is what causes sorrow… (in this case it was so apparent, but I see similar sins committed every day). There are very few countries where there’s a law that make it mandatory to act in saving life. There is one exception and that is the law at sea… so I think if those teens had been on a boat they would have broken the law, but if you are on the shore you are not.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t imagine such a scene. I read about tests done in laboratory circumstances where adults were given a remote kind of wired instrument that could inflict pain on another adult behind a one-way mirror. They could see the person but she/he couldn’t see them. And how they continued pressing the button watching the person react in pain. Normal, everyday people like all of us. It’s terrible what we are capable of.

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  4. I can’t even wrap my brain around such behavior. You must have to be soulless to stand by and watch another human being die without an urgent feeling that you must come to their aid. Your poem is so powerful and that quote so true, and I love the heart wrenching title. Thank you for your presence at dVerse, I appreciate your participation.
    Gayle ~

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading and for your comments! This event will always be unsettling for me on so many levels. What commentary is this on our youth? Are we so disconnected as a society that young people no longer empathize with another human being? I can only hope this represents the exception and not the rule.

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