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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
Erian Rose May 4
She was
footprints traced in sandy waters
sunflower fields
bloomed in thorns
thunderstorms swept
in salty air
Her spirit twinkled
of northern lights
flirting with a million acres
of honeydew blossoms
She was
the magic
that he adored
Archer Feb 27
Here I lay with this gaping hole right through me
It's been dug so far down
An archeologist finding pieces
Ancient artifacts long lost
Years to uncover with this tiny brush
I need a jack hammer
I don't want them intact
Sterling gems and shattered lives
Auburn and aquamarine
They all look the same covered in filth
Pulled from the same hole
Brittle bones and worn tools
Splinter me and collect your prize
Whirling dust clouds
Like needles in my eyes
Makes it hard to see
Who's there
I need a long heavy rain
To wash away this grime
Its gets inside everything
The cracks in my armor
Rust away and disintegrate
Leave me bare to you
Keep searching
You wont find what you're looking for
Bardo Jun 2019
My! The beach it looks so cool today
With the sun shining down, the tide in
The golden sands, the lovely blue sea
How I'd love to be down there now,
    messing about among the rocks
Fishing for *****, looking in the rock
    pools
Paddling through the water,
    swimming out in the tide,
Having a picnic with my Mom; she'd
    have the blanket laid out
For us all to sit upon
She'd have lovely scones with butter
    and strawberry jam
And lovely hot sugary tea
And "Go on, go get an ice cream from
    the ice cream man".

But No! I can't, I've got to go to school
    today
With this heavy schoolbag strapped to
    my back with all my books in it
Yea, I got to go to school today and
    face the scary teacher
The way she shouts at us and
    brandishes that ruler of hers
And she'll slap you if you don't have
    the right answer
Scary! Scary! Teacher
She's not at all like my Mother, my
    Mom she's soft and kindly.....
And she worries a lot I can tell, Mom
    you mustn't worry,
She looks so sad sometimes I could cry.

At school how time, it moves so slow
O! I wish, how I wish I didn't have to  
    go
As children we're all thrown together,
    it gets so noisy and there's quarrels
And some of the bigger boys from the
   older classes
Their nasty, they push you around
    and want to fight with you.

Coming back to class from the
    toilets sometimes, on my own
I stop there & look out the door at
    the empty playground
The leaves blowing in the wind, the
    sparrows busy about
And then I look at the school gates and
    I think
" Beyond those school gates lies Home"
How I wish then I could just run home
I'd run and I'd run
Run past the gates of the houses with
    their angry barking dogs
I'd run ! Run the whole way, I wouldn't
    stop:
I want to be at home with my Mom
Up in my room with my books, my
    comics and toy soldiers.

But No! they say the Guard(policeman)
    he'd be doing his rounds now
And if he was to see you, he'd catch
    you
And then there'd be trouble then, Big
    Big! Trouble!!!
Mum would be brought down and Dad
    would have to be told too
At least, that's what they tell me,
More trouble for Mum
So I can't - I must go to school then.

Yes! I've got to go to school today and
    face again the scary teacher
At least I got my homework done, but
    there's still so much
I don't understand...so many things...
    so many things to learn,
Scary! Scary! Teacher! she never looks
    happy
She laughs at us and calls us bad
    names
Just sitting there we tighten up inside,
    under her gaze
And we pray "please don't ask me,
    please don't ask me
Please don't call out my name",
How we watch that clock up on the
    wall
Praying for 3 o'clock to arrive.

Why is it I had to come to this place?
    Why!!!
I don't want to be here, I want to be at
     home with my Mom.

Yes! I'd love to be down there today on
    the beach
But I got to go to school today.
I travel to work on the train that goes along the coast so I see beaches and boats. I was thinking how as a child we had to go to school but longed to be elsewhere and here I am today going to work on a lovely day, wishing too I was elsewhere so nothing much has changed. -I did a painting once of 'coming back from the toilets to class but stopping to look out the door at the empty playground & wishing I were home. It brought up a lot of old memories. This is where this poem came from. Is a child's eye view. Hope you enjoy.
Poolza Feb 2019
Lay down on the beach
Feel the warmth of the brown sand
Smell the ocean waves





-
ivy Feb 2018
I don't know what to label you
As everything in my life has a place
You stand in between the lines of friend and boyfriend.
It's really ******* with my head
Now as I said before
We can't be a couple
Rather, an admirer
Who lives two hours away
But will come knocking at your door
When inquired
I don't know what to tell you
When I took you to the beach
The cops showed up
And we ran, from red and blue
Lights that lit up the sea
And upon your window sat a fat parking ticket
I felt bad because you were sad that we missed it,
The fact, of course
That we couldn't be parked there anymore.

Silence on the way back to my house
And I still don't know what to call you
As I rub your neck,
The back of your head
I think I should calm you

Should I kiss you?
Should I say sorry?
Maybe you're not picking up what I'm putting down
Maybe you're too selfish to notice my pout

Another song to shut the **** up to
It reminds me of the butterflies David gave me when he would drive me home just to f*ck me ******* my futon after my dance show.
It reminded me of the fights before sociology class in the parking lot of school and pretending everything was cool, it's all in the past.
He ******* played that song like it was fresh strawberry cheesecake every time he heard it
I wanted to scream and thrash and cry and complain and I wanted to burn it
Those songs,
No matter the message
Will always be negative
Because they remind me of a more handsome, more ******* of a boyfriend.
He liked Kendrick Lamar.
Class is done today
Sanguinary dismissal
Sorrowful homework
The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting broke my heart, as I know it broke the collective heart in this great nation,.  So sad the pain wasn't so great as to ban assault rifles.
PJ Poesy Mar 2016
I did sleep in House of Whispers
True storm, enormous proportion
Voices heard not of lispers
Things spoken had no distortion
Sleep wrecked by bent contortion

Her breath broke in, spitting damage
Window, door, shuttered madness
Hurricane Sandy rained so ravage
Spirits moaned wailing sea of sadness
The mate looked on with ever gladness

Garbled jumble, gelatinous formation
Distinctly mocking circumstances
Sandy spoke of men lost by nation
Poet reminded how nature dances
Lives, houses, relations, left to chances

She broke trees, lifted sharks ashore
House of Whispers stood, listened
Her warnings raised tides, emoting more
Matey's  blue eyes spoke, glistened
Embraced evolved nature stiffened
My night with Sandy was spent in Bridgeport, NJ. Strange sounds were heard that night and just before sunrise it became evident we needed to evacuate. By this point roads were flooding. We had no power, tv, or radio but something spoke to us.
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