Violence – How does it start?

It probably started
in a whisper, a murmur,
a low tone hardly caught by the papers,
a sticker, a poster,
a brick wall with slogans in fresh black paint

it probably started with a shove,
some bluster, a gunshot,
crushed fingers, it probably started
with a speech that caught the right ears
on an otherwise happy day,
yellow flowers in a wooden stand on the sidewalk,
red apples, radio
trying hard to smooth out the mood,
kid hurrying past, thinking,
God, is that man on the corner
about me,
pulls his hat low,
it probably started
with another man
drunk on swagger,
it probably started
with a small crowd
coaxing exciting lies,
it probably started
with a neighborhood’s head bowed
as the drone grows each day
(though they’ll claim
it came
in a quick, monstrous surprise).

“The Start” by Matt Mason

“If violent language doesn’t get restrained, that eventually leads to real violence.” Matt Mason said ideally he would love to see his poem make people reconsider the words they use in public.

“When the people around you, when your friends, when your allies, are using the language of violence, that there’s a certain amount on you to say something,” he said.

Violence scares me, political violence terrifies me.

Words are weapons! Our language has become unkind, unfriendly, short, and violent. We need to change this and the change starts with us, the way we talk to each other!

8 thoughts on “Violence – How does it start?

  1. What an important topic. Yes, it starts somewhere and often it’s at home. Whenever I watch true crime shows, which isn’t very often, it always comes back to abusive homes and trauma. We have to address the root and seed of violence if we have a hope of stopping it from getting bigger and bigger.


  2. I know I cleaned up my language when my kids started to repeat the “bad” words they heard from me. Unfortunately, it’s one of those things that take more effort and conscious thought than most people want to put into it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so very true. I remember how proud I was when I could finally curse in English and how ridiculous it seems today, so many years later. That’s when you know you are fluent in a language, when you can tell jokes with ease and when cursing comes naturally. Then it took me years to take the stink out of my swearwords. Thankfully I watched MASH, and to this day I use “horse hockey” when I find something not believable or “monkey ball” 🤣🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You have hit an important nail on the head this time: the need for public decorum; the understanding of how to behave in different circumstance; caring for the well-being of others; and having the nous to be aware of how our behaviour might affect those around us.


    • The tone we have toward each other scares me. The internet and our texting habits have made it worse. We are losing the ability to talk to each other. We are too quickly ticked off and seem to have no boundaries (or etiquette) when we interact with strangers.

      Liked by 1 person

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