three hundred years old /
and the fruit is still rotting – /
blood on the pavement //

Rotten Apple. Wikipedia.


Written for Haiku Horizons, where our prompt word was “justice”.  My poem, however is about injustice. American “Stand Your Ground” laws are being used to “justify” outright murder – and a disproportionate number of cases involves whites who feel “threatened” by minorities.  Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law is controversial – and outright reckless – in that “threatened” people don’t need to show that they attempted to remove themselves from a dangerous situation.  Shoot first, ask questions later.  



31 thoughts on “Three Hundred Years Old (Senryu)

  1. And now Billie Holiday! Incredible song and an incredible performance – “and the fruit is still rotting.” Well, as I mentioned in another post somewhere, from over this side of the Atlantic the whole gun thing just looks bizarre, frankly.


    • Can only imagine how Americans look to the rest of the world when it comes to the gun craziness. It seems like we never really left the Wild West behind. And the bigotry hasn’t gone away… It’s just more subtle. Usually.


        • I was kind of drawing a discrete veil over the “gun crazy” aspect of the chat tbh – hey, as an outsider looking in if I can’t say anything positive then I think it’s usually best to say nothing.

          But a change in attitude must be unavoidable at some point. It’s surely inconceivable that a society can go on indefinitely manufacturing bullet-proof rucksacks for six year olds without seeing that the plot has been well and truly lost. Right..?


        • Very true. When I saw the bulletproof school gear I was sick at heart. And the kiddo will be heading back to school in a couple of weeks … I shouldn’t have to worry about some wingnut’s disturbed child bringing a gun to school. 😦


  2. A so profound haiku, Jen. And powerful. Reading all the comments, I have the impression that it is really sad and tragic what this law seem to implying. It’s really a license to kill situation.


  3. A great senryu on a very important subject. This particular law promotes lawlessness. One might imagine that we’ve stepped back into the 1800s, a pretense to being a modern civilized country is in fact belied with laws such as this. And I can’t understand the fascination with guns either …


  4. You are right, it is a horrible law that generally leaves the shooter as the only witness to what went on. This law really needs to be repealed, but with the gun lobby as strong as it is, I doubt that it ever will. Great post.


    • Thanks Dom —
      Sadly I think you’re right — the lobbyists are pumping millions of dollars into keeping these laws alive — and into undermining more restrictive laws — it would take a tragedy of epic proportions to get the situation changed.


  5. I love that Billie Holiday song.I abhor the sanctioning of guns. Good for you for raising controversial issues. Popularity is not part of a poet’s mission. The more poets who speak out the better.


    • I love the song too… Even though the topic is horrible, horrible. Have been too worried about offending people … It’s time to speak up.

      Really can’t understand the American fascination with guns …. Really, I can’t. And the cost in lives is so high.

      Glad you liked the post!


    • Thanks Cher —

      This has been weighing on my heart for so long — I really cannot understand the mentality that allowed for “Open Carry”, “Stand Your Ground” — the constant struggle to get gun violence under control — and lobby groups making the situation worse — and the way the verdicts lean against the minority time after time —

      After talking with Hamish about his posts – where he tells it the way he sees it and doesn’t worry about ruffling a few feathers – well, it was about time.


      • Good! I think writers and poets have a duty to ruffle feathers. It it what changed a lot in Quebec actually along with sociologists. No neutrality here, just lots of opinion and emotion…and that’s okay:)


        • Opinion and emotion are good — it’s what you do with it that can be a blessing or a curse. And Americans seem to choose “curse” more often than not. Sadly.

          We were talking about Phil Ochs — have you heard him?


  6. That’s fantastic Jen. I’ll be writing for your scent haiku prompt soon. It’s a great one. I’ve been thinking about since I read it. 🙂


    • That’s great! You always put so much into the prompts – bringing such a wonderfully intense, refreshing-even-when-painful point of view. Can hardly wait to see what you’ll come up with for scent!

      Glad you liked this post, too — though I’m sure it’ll rub a few people the wrong way. But … people need to wake up and see that “stand your ground” is just another verse in the same old song.


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