When Black or White Kids Die – The Lessons of Ferguson

Jun 08

A black man kills a white man,
A white man kills a black,
This cycle just continues,
Is there no turning back?
Black and White Violence in Ferguson

Black and White Violence in Ferguson – Illustration by Elliot Dahl 

The news will cover this one,
Yet let another slide,
Opinion polls will drive us,
To choose a colored side.
Our hearts will ache regardless,
The colors of our skin,
We justify our anger,
And locate next of kin.
Black mothers mourn, white ones sob,
When black or white kids die,
Who’s right or wrong? 
God only knows.
But still I wonder why…
It’s all so tragic – undeserved,
But is it black and white?
When will we learn the time has come,
To finally end this fight?

Of the 1,235 murders that took place in the United States last month, how many of them garnered national media attention? Shouldn’t they all? Weren’t they all part of someone’s racist, biased, fear-based, greed-driven decision to take something from another, control another, or destroy another? Why do some stories get tons of media attention as “hate crimes” or “another meaningless murder” while others go virtually unnoticed? Aren’t they all hate crime? Aren’t they all meaningless?

The only way this will ever stop or even slow down the rate of violence in America is by teaching our families and ourselves the importance of respect, forgiveness, communication, and tolerance. Who will you forgive today? How can you show more respect? In what areas of your life could you be more tolerant? Where could your communication skills use improvement?

Let’s NOT unite against police brutality. Let’s NOT unite against black on white crime. Let’s just unite… as people.


Steve Dahl


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I Shot a Man

Apr 19

You probably think I deserve it,
A life sentence is mine,
I shot a man to death one night,
And now I’m doing time. 
Prison Cell

Prison Cell Image – Courtesy Wikipedia.org

How could I do this violent thing?
How could I take a life?
I pleaded self defense in court,
I am a beaten wife.
So I ask you now to answer this,
Have you ever been so mad?
That you lost your cool and act a fool,
And did a thing so bad?
“Well yes!” You say, “I threw a book,
But I’m such a lousy shot,
I missed my boyfriend by an inch,
And still feel bad a lot.” 
There’s not much difference between us two,
It’s what anyone might have done,
YOU picked up a book to throw,
But I picked up a gun.  



Anyone of us have the potential to make a life-changing decision that we regret. We are all more alike than we might want to admit. We all have the capacity to do terrible things and wonderful things. This poem was inspired by a true story I heard about that took place during a healing process at a woman’s prison.

Drs. David and Bonnie Paul have been leading a process of self-forgiveness and healing inside California prisons for years. They give me hope for humanity with their important work. Learn more about this process at http://freedomtochoosefoundation.org/.

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This is a Cut-Throat Business

Mar 12

Shooter at Navy Yard 2013.  Image courtesy Wikipedia.

Shooter at Navy Yard 2013. Image courtesy Wikipedia.

At first you cannot feel it,
You were not even there!
She stabbed you with a dagger,
As if she didn’t care!
Oh it’s not workplace violence,
To knife you in the back,
It’s not workplace violence,
It’s just a sneak attack!
You dare call it violence?
It doesn’t even hurt!
Sometimes it’s an email,
Sometimes it’s a flirt.
It’s just business language,
A violent way we talk,
Of kicking ass and taking names,
And showing how we rock!
The art of war in business,
Can rake you over coals,
We slash our product prices,
And kill those sales goals!
Let’s massacre the market,
Let’s make no mistake,
We’ll squash the competition,
No prisoners shall we take.
Your boss is such an angel,
The CEO a Saint,
A kinder, gentler office,
Hell no! It really ain’t!
Relaxxxxx it will not hurt you,
But some say heads will roll,
These metaphors of business,
They cannot hurt a soul.
These words they have no meaning,
They pump us up a lot!
This is a cut-throat business,
But violent? It’s not!
How is your language in the workplace violent? Or not?  Sometimes your denial just kills me. 
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My Dragon’s Warm Embrace – In memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman

Feb 10

I love the way he holds me,
We all have our dragons.
We all have our dragons. Philip Seymour Hoffman had his.
My dragon’s warm embrace,
I love his wild illusions,
I love his calming face.
I hate this love I’m feeling,
Addictions hold me tight,
I hide inside my body,
I cannot see the light.
And when I try to leave him,
His eyes as cold as steel,
He lets me shake and tremble,
Ignoring my appeal.
I’d love to slay this dragon,
To choke his every breath,
While drinking one more bottle,
Or tripping on my meth.
But drugs are just the symbols,
Of troubles deep inside,
They simply fuel the turmoil,
Of things I’d like to hide.
This hell will soon be over,
My secret’s come to pass,
Just one more shot or needle,
I’m sure this is my last.
Photo courtesy NY Daily News 
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Releasing a Predator – Lion or Douglas Badger

Jan 12

My thoughts on releasing repeat offending sexual predators: The sexual predator that is about to be released in San Diego will follow a very expected course. I am a very forgiving person but I’m not stupid. Sometimes bad DNA takes over a person’s behavior and the only way to help that person is to confine that person. Not unlike the wild animal who has DNA designed to kill.

We can spend a lot of time calling Douglas Badger a creep and a freak but the one thing we know for sure is that he is an animal, like all of us.  But, he has slightly different DNA than most. His is designed to attack. I wouldn’t get into a cage with a natural born predator and we shouldn’t let them roam our neighborhoods either. The image of Douglas Badger is courtesy Fox News 5 San Diego. 


Releasing a Predator

When raising wild lions we’ve caught,Lioness with a bloody muzzle
Inside a steel-barred cage,
We calm him down, we feed him,
And ignore his inborn rage.
Not a rage that comes by simple choice,
But rage from DNA,
A rage that cannot be undone,
Or simply wished away.
Why are we shocked when lion’s strike,
And hurt the ones who care,
It’s in their cells to do these things,
We can’t be unaware.
Predators have a thing inside,
That cause surprise attacks,
Like felons hunting girls and boys,
To do horrendous acts.
 Sexual Predator Douglas Badger 300px
The predators of the human kind,
No different in their way,
They cannot stop from hunting though,
It’s in their DNA.
It’s why we lock these creatures up,
And keep them from their range,
One cannot stop a lion’s urge,
Or hope that he will change.
Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl 
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Twas The Night Before Recall

Aug 07

Twas the night before recall and all through the house,
Bob Filner was looking to find him a blouse.
A blouse or a skirt or a pair of high heels,
To see if his therapy, changed how he feels.
Santa Bob Recall 2pngEmployees were nestled all snug in their chairs,
While Gloria Allred reviewed their affairs.
The recall had started and soon it would grow,
And Gloria Allred was loving this show.
This show made for movies,
We couldn’t conceive,
A plot so disgusting,
We couldn’t believe.
But soon the effects of many a female,
Empowered the voters to respond to the detail.
The details of groping and all kinds of smut,
But maybe this therapy would save Bobby’s butt!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a haloed Bob Filner with a message so clear!
There hovered a halo – right over his head!
It was white and was glowing – you heard what I said!
It’s a halo! It’s a halo!
He’s not so deranged!
This therapy works!
And Bob said, “I’ve changed!”
“I’ve changed my behavior. I’m much better now!
I’m sorry I groped you! You can’t believe how.
The Bob Filner Recall is on the go.
Just Give me a Chance!
Will you ever forgive me? – Please give me a pass!
Therapy has worked and I won’t grab your…
ASSSSK me if – you doubt me! Just give me a chance!
I’m a brand new man, don’t want in your pants!
You can all wear your undies to the office once more.
I am no longer groping behind my closed door!”
So let’s spring to the polls and ignore the cat whistles,
Away the recall, blow it off like old missiles,
Then I heard Bob exclaim, as he drove out of sight,
“I’m a new man for all”
And we all say… Yaaaaaaaaa right!


Copyright 2013 Steve Dahl


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