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‘None of this is Normal’ by Jenna Harris

I haven’t written about it yet maybe because writing was one of the things

that felt normal to me

But nothing about this feels normal

Seeing my classmates on the news

Being asked for interviews

Having celebrities tweet my town’s name

None of it feels normal

Being asked for interviews Having celebrities tweet my town’s name

While in the closet

My body shook uncontrollably

I held the hands of my friends

And tried to hold in my tears

Because I didn’t want to think about who wouldn’t see their

loved ones these following years

My heart is racing

My insides are aching

I’m angry

I’m sad

But I am grateful that I am alive

And hungry for change

And for my school, for my community

I’m filled with so much


None of this feels normal

But with a broken heart,

I know all of this is true

And for each angel that was brutally ripped from us

Everything from now on is for you

Jenna Harris, a Parkland survivor, turned to poetry following her own ordeal at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. In her poem “None of this is Normal,” Harris reflects on the surreal turn her life took after the deaths of her classmates, promising them that “everything from now on is for you.”

Originally published on Youth Radio                                                                    


‘Empty beds and broken hearts’

by Jett Hays – A poem for Parkland

Books and backpacks

Pencils in pouches

Students in body bags

No bells only shots ring – No practice, no dinner

Only shooters and sinners

No morning    – Only mourners

Early morning prayers on a Wednesday

Bodies don’t get buried till more mourning on a Sunday

No milestones or tassel throws

Only growing roses and tombstones

Rising death tolls and bells that tell of funerals

Empty beds and broken hearts

No hearts beat – No children dance

Post mortem I love yous – I would’ve told you – if I had the chance

This is no new news – This is not the first, this is not the last

Too many children killed walking to class

American carnage consoled with carnations

coronations of leaders who think band-aids will protect schools

And heal our nation – Unless ink and compassion flows

Laws pass and guns go You will lose our vote

So Scott, Martin, Nicholas, and Alyssa, Aaron, Alaina, Meadow, and Helena, Jaime, Chris, Luke, and Cara, Joaquine, Alex, and Gina – Stay alive

So 17 faces smile

17 dream in figures and a crown

Three teachers

14 students graduating in caps and gowns

17 sit down

17 seats fill with the future

When will it be a last breath too many?

When will the candle flames die

Cuz students don’t

When will we quit drowning in

Our own sorrow

Our own blood

And gasp for air

Grasp change

And pass laws

Be kind to others

And show that we care

We are almost there

For every candle every night a torch burns every day and burns bright

Allowing us to photograph the darkness

So – We can grasp the light

When the sun sets

Jett Hays Torrance High School / Words of a generating generation.

Tunnel light into the future

And bury hate with the past

So students aren’t targets

And there’s no shooters to shoot

Dreams to nightmares

Schools to memorials

Times like these seem a long way from the American dream


The Silence

Parkland 17-year-old David Hogg


  We are children.

  You guys are, like, the adults.

  Take action, work together,

     come over your politics,

        and get something done.”


Parkland, Florida, Jaclyn Corin 

“Why should they listen to me?

Because I had to sit in a classroom, in the dark, next to 20 of my friends, watching us all text our parents that we loved them.

Because we didn’t know if a shooter was going to come up to our door.”

“… That’s why I’m credible.”

senior Emma González

“We are going to be the kids you read about in textbooks.

Not because we’re going to be another statistic

about mass shooting in America, but because…

we are going to be the last mass shooting.”


“Never Again”

“Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this, we call BS. They say tougher guns laws do not decrease gun violence. We call BS.” – Emma Gonzalez

“This isn’t something that you let go of a month later, this is something that we will persist with. This is going to be an issue probably for the rest of my lifetime unless we do something about it,” Brighton senior Jonathan Vaysman


Step forward into the future. Support each other.

Build community.

Make peace. Practice nonviolence.

Resist the forces of war.

Reconcile with our enemies. Come what may.

We have met a Rebel God.

Begin the revolution within us.

Hearts burn with the fire of Hope.

Summon us to carry on an Errand of Nonviolence.







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