Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hometown Poet Agonizes over Soldier Deaths, Street Shooting

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Hometown Poet Agonizes over Soldier Deaths, Street Shooting

Article excerpt

Byline: JOHN CARTER

Poems come pouring out of Brandon Primm.

And too much of the time, pain is pulling the poems from the 19-year-old.

Last year, Primm got noticed in his Moncrief community when he was compelled to write a poem after 13-year-old Shenice Holmes was killed on Mother's Day when a stray rifle round fired in a parking lot shoot-out plowed into her bedroom, hitting her as she sat reading.

He was so affected by the city's escalating homicide rate he wrote a poem called At the Rate of a Gun.

"Too many people are dying," the poem began. "Too many bodies are lying. Too many bullets are flying. And too many mothers are crying - at the rate of a gun."

Now violence is again pulling poems out of Primm as he grows more and more agitated over the war in Iraq.

"I have relatives there," he said. "But whether I did or not, it just seems all the killing and violence is not worth it. It's madness."

He says he has sleepless nights worrying about young Americans dying needlessly overseas.

"In my mind I keep seeingthe soldiers coming home with flags draped over their coffins," he said. "It seems like a remake of the Vietnam war, which was one of the worst mistakes in American history. It hurts to think about it."

Primm's latest poem is called A Soldier's Cry.

In it he writes, "A soldier's cry hurts me deep within, 'cause they're fighting to keep our freedom, my friends."

Here's the full poem, followed by the one he wrote in 2006 and dedicated to the 13-year-old victim of the drive-by shooting last year.

Following is a poem written by Brandon Primm in reaction to American soldiers dying in Iraq.

A SOLDIER'S CRY

By Brandon Primm

Bombs all through the night, blood everywhere

50 caliber bullets flying through the air

Terrorists strapping bombs to little kids' chests

Blowing up American soldiers, laying them to rest

Soldiers getting killed and shot at every day

They cry when they pray when they want to get away

A soldier's cry hurts me deep within

'Cause they're fighting to keep our freedom, my friends

A soldier's cry I look up to, 'cause life is on the line

Fighting against people who do more war crimes

The world's not getting better it's getting worse

Innocent people getting killed, more soldiers buried in the earth

What I'm about to say, please take heed

Give your life to Christ so when he comes we can leave

A soldier's cry

Following is a poem written by Brandon Primm in 2006 after 13-year-old Shenice Holmes was killed in a drive-by shooting:

AT THE RATE OF A GUN

By Brandon Primm

Too many people are dying

Too many bodies are lying

Too many bullets are flying

And too many mothers are crying

At the rate of a gun

A straight A student girl, 13 years old

Is now in a casket, God bless her soul

At the rate of a gun

Does life hurt so much

That to take another

For a young black man to kill his brother

How is solving the problem taking a life

How is solving the problem using a knife

How is solving the problem fighting with hands

The only problem solver is the Son of Man

Dr. …

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