The Poem Is Mightier Than the Gun

My California friend Jeanne Watson has penned many fine, eloquent poems over the forty years I have known her. But none touched me as this one did, capturing as it does the anguished despair of most Americans at the excessive power of the NRA-led gun lobby there who distort the 200-year old Second Amendment  to the Constitution to justify the proliferation of assault rifles. The result is an apparently endless series of abuse of such weapons on people as innocent as children.



In my dreams children are running,

rivers of children slipping by boulders,

falling into canyons, not like lemmings

for their strange survival, they are

running from death. From a wall of

death, from holes in walls fixed

with neat circles holding guns of every

type. They are running from

their parents’ souls that their parents

might forget. Because they are children

they imagine this as a possibility.

Where did we leave the notion

of defending one’s country, to

adopt aggression towards our offspring?


Genocide is an ugly word.

But it is our word now.

We have turned on our own

laying open each shooter’s wound of emptiness.

To have power over life is the force

that keeps them alive, children in

heaps at their feet.



Sixteen bullets

in a young man is beyond what it

takes to bring him down––naked

hatred. At least let us speak the truth.

Who, really is the perpetrator?

When did our children become objects

for venting our insanities, our rage?


If Sandy Hook could not stop us, as

did Lot’s wife becoming salt, if that crack

in the earth could not have ended

the NRA’s holding aloft the fate of our

children, what might we hope for?



About davidsberry

Local ex-councillor, tour guide and database designer. Keen on wildlife, history, boats and music. Retired in 2017.
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