Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
May 21
Sandy Hook Call to Love
by Michael R. Burch

Our hearts are broken today
for our children's small bodies lie broken;
let us gather them up, as we may,
that the truth of our Love may be spoken;
then, when we have put them away
to nevermore dream, or be woken,
let us think of the living, and pray
for true Love, not some miserable token,
to command us, for strength to obey.

The first line in the poem above came from President Obama’s speech in which he wiped away tears as he discussed the Sandy Hook killings.

###

For a Sandy Hook Child, with Butterflies
by Michael R. Burch

Where does the butterfly go
when lightning rails, when thunder howls,
when hailstones scream while winter scowls
and nights compound dark frosts with snow?
Where does the butterfly go?

Where does the rose hide its bloom
when night descends oblique and chill
beyond the capacity of moonlight to fill?
When the only relief's a banked fire's glow,
where does the butterfly go?

And where shall the spirit flee
when life is harsh, too harsh to face,
and hope is lost without a trace?
Oh, when the light of life runs low,
where does the butterfly go?

###

Sandy Hook Call to Action
by Michael R. Burch

We see their tiny coffins
and our hearts break,
so we ask the NRA―
"Did you make a mistake?"
And we vow to save the next child
for sweet love's sake,
but also to protect ourselves
from enduring such heartache.

###

I dedicate my poems to the victims ― may they rest in peace ― and I urge all Americans to act now, before the next massacre. If we don't, our loved ones will remain continually at risk:

Epitaph for a Sandy Hook Child
by Michael R. Burch

I lived as best I could, and then I died.
Be careful where you step: the grave is wide.

###

This poem is for mothers who lost children at Sandy Hook, and in other similar tragedies ...

Childless
by Michael R. Burch

How can she bear her grief?
Mightier than Atlas, she shoulders the weight
Of one fallen star.

###

Shooting Gallery
by Michael R. Burch

If we live by the rule of the gun
what can a small child do,
but run?

###

Sixteen of the students who died at Sandy Hook were six years old; the other four students were seven. I wrote the poem below for another child gunned down by a madman. While we cannot legislate sanity, we can be sane enough to legislate away the "right" of serial killers to purchase assault weapons so easily. We can defend many small victims from such carnage, if "we the people" have the wisdom and the will to defend them.

Child of 9-11
by Michael R. Burch

a poem for Christina-Taylor Green, who was born
on September 11, 2001 and died at the age of nine,
shot to death ...

Child of 9-11, beloved,
I bring this lily, lay it down
here at your feet, and eiderdown,
and all soft things, for your gentle spirit.
I bring this psalm ― I hope you hear it.

Much love I bring ― I lay it down
here by your form, which is not you,
but what you left this shell-shocked world
to help us learn what we must do
to save another child like you.

Child of 9-11, I know
you are not here, but watch, afar
from distant stars, where angels rue
the brutal things some mortals do.
I also watch; I also rue.

And so I make this pledge and vow:
though I may weep, I will not rest
nor will my pen fail heaven's test
till guns and wars and hate are banned
from every shore, from every land.

Child of 9-11, I grieve
your tender life, cut short ... bereaved,
what can I do, but pledge my life
to saving lives like yours? Belief
in your sweet worth has led me here ...

I give my all: my pen, this tear,
this lily and this eiderdown,
and all soft things my heart can bear;
I bear them to your final bier,
and leave them with my promise, here.

###

US or Them?
by Michael R. Burch

The NRA wants money in the till,
thus Adam Lanza had a license to ****.
Our government’s the serial killer’s shill
and will be, unless WE express OUR will
and vote to save our children from Boot Hill.

###

This haiku below makes me think of the students and teachers of Sandy Hook, who were trapped in a war zone:

War
stood at the end of the hall
in the long shadows
―original haiku by Watanabe Hakusen, translation by Michael R. Burch

###

Piercing the Shell
by Michael R. Burch

If we strip away all the accouterments of war,
perhaps we'll discover what the heart is for.

It seems to me that the NRA has declared a war ― an open season ― on our children, by insisting that assault weapons must be available to every Tom, **** and ***** Harry. But what will we, the people, say and do?

###

Something
by Michael R. Burch

Something inescapable is lost―
lost like a pale vapor curling up into shafts of moonlight,
vanishing in a gust of wind toward an expanse of stars
immeasurable and void.

Something uncapturable is gone―
gone with the spent leaves and illuminations of autumn,
scattered into a haze with the faint rustle of parched grass
and remembrance.

Something unforgettable is past―
blown from a glimmer into nothingness, or less,
and finality has swept into a corner where it lies
in dust and cobwebs and silence.

###

Frail Envelope of Flesh
by Michael R. Burch

Frail envelope of flesh,
lying cold on the surgeon’s table
with anguished eyes
like your mother’s eyes
and a heartbeat weak, unstable ...

Frail crucible of dust,
brief flower come to this―
your tiny hand
in your mother’s hand
for a last bewildered kiss ...

Brief mayfly of a child,
to live six artless years!
Now your mother’s lips
seal up your lips
from the Deluge of her tears ...

###

Here are tribute poems for exceptional children who should be alive today:

Emilie Parker,
the horror grows starker
as we see your sweet image
and cringe at the carnage;
but dear, how you mesmerize
with those vivid blue eyes
and death cannot sever
our hearts from you, ever.

###

Dylan Hockley,
a blue-eyed "gorgeous boy,"
was super beyond
death's power to destroy.

###

Jack Pinto,
who idolized the New York Jets' Victor Cruz,
is now Cruz's hero
and neither can lose.

###

Grace Audrey McDonnell,
our "beautiful, sweet little girl,"
wherever you are now,
there's a far brighter world.

###

Avielle Richman
had a "spirit that drew people in"
(and an infinitely knowing
and cheeky grin!).

###

Noah Pozner,
"extremely bright"―
your mind and your smile
both exuded light.

###

Jessica Rekos,
a "creative, beautiful little girl"
who loved horses,
are you now riding Pegasus
down heaven's courses?

###

Benjamin Wheeler,
"an irrepressibly bright and spirited boy"
had brown, soulful eyes
and a spirit no killer can destroy.

###

Ana Marquez-Greene,
as sweet a child as we've seen,
you "beat us all to paradise."
Was it because you were so very nice?

###

Charlotte Bacon,
our love for you is unshaken;
as you "lit up all rooms" down here
you now illuminate heaven, dear.

###

Daniel Barden, his family's light,
once brightened this earth, and now brightens heaven―
not a bad trick for a boy who's just seven!

###

Olivia Engel,
angel,
your only possible crime (I've been told)
was "being a wiggly, smiley six-year-old!"

###

Allison Wyatt,
so shy, so sweet, so caring,
loved to garden with her mother.
Six pink candles, then an eternity of sharing.

###

Catherine Violet Hubbard
when you were here
the cupboard
of life
was never bare,
but full of light
and your electric hair!

###

Josephine Gay
had just turned seven;
now she will always be
"a lovely part of heaven."

###

Caroline Previdi,
"sweet, precious little angel,"
we fondly remember
your infectious smile.

###

Chase Kowalski, age seven
seems awfully early for heaven;
but since there was never a better child ...
perhaps the angels called, beguiled?

###

Jesse Lewis, so full of life,
you could fill a room with bright laughter;
I'm sure you're entertaining angels now
and brightening the Hereafter!

###

James Mattioli,
exceptional swimmer,
without your bright presence
the world seems much dimmer.

###

Madeleine Hsu,
what we know of you
is so limited, but we love you too.
May your loved ones keep your memory secure
and your memory give them the strength to endure.

###

Here is a memorial poem for the school's lovely, valiant principal who, according to accounts, ran to defend her young charges the minute she heard shots being fired, lunging at the shooter in an attempt to disarm him:

Dawn Hochsprung,
each child's courageous friend―
you defended them all till the unthinkable end;
so let your kindness and valor be sung.

###

Rachel Davino protected her charges
from the killer's barrages;
like her loyal friend,
she was loyal to the end.

###

Anne Marie Murphy,
fun-loving, hard worker;
you defended your charges―
no coward, no shirker.

###

Lauren Gabrielle Rousseau,
who loved to teach, and who loved children so,
we're glad you achieved your dream
that final year, and how lovely you seem!

###

When Mary heard shots being fired, she could have run away to save her own life, but she joined principal Dawn Hochsprung by leaping to her feet and running to protect the students she loved so much.

Mary Sherlach, who courageously ran
without thought for her life to the aid of the children,
taught not just them, but also us,
love's surplus.

###

Everyone loved Miss Victoria Soto;
she was every student's friend.
And when a killer threatened her charges,
she defended them to the end.

Keywords/Tags: Sandy Hook, school, shooting, massacre, students, children, teachers, gun control
Written by
Michael R Burch  62/M/Nashville, Tennessee
(62/M/Nashville, Tennessee)   
207
 
Please log in to view and add comments on poems