Introducing a new series of poems by Julian Matthews. Julian is a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet published in The American Journal of Poetry, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Borderless Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Dream Catcher Magazine, Live Encounters Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and The New Verse News, among others. He is a mixed-race minority from Malaysia and lived in Ipoh for seven years. Currently based in Petaling Jaya, he is a media trainer and consultant for senior management of multinationals on Effective Media Relations, Social Media and Crisis Communications. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and Nikkei Business Publications Inc
By Julian Matthews
Why oh why oh why oh why America?
Where I come from, schools are temples, education is sacred, our holy ticket out of poverty.
Your reverence for this steely religion is not worth the price.
Your worship at this bloody altar is too heavy a sacrifice.
When all is said and done, you just have too many guns.
Amendments can be amended but wounds from burying children can never mend.
Did you not learn from Sandy Hook?
Does the “right to bear arms” mean it’s salmon season all year round?
Your children are not fish in barrels. Fired at and muzzled forever.
Gutted gutlessly. Leaving congealed entrails on hallowed ground.
Like spent shells. Chalked outlines of miniature gods.
Yellow-taped. Evidence. In ever-expanding crime scenes.
The pandemic claimed a million lives. Not enough?
Massacres were on pause. Now you rewind. Press play.
Same hollow music on endless repeat.
Thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers.
You hear shots fired. Sirens. Then silence.
The world hears only the mothers.
First published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, France.