Monday, December 17, 2012

Newtown Poems by Indran Amirthanayagam

            First Poems

There are murders that defy poetry,
challenge its song--I almost wrote
to a duel—ask  what business
do you have with us in the church,
in this memorial mass.

The children who died wrote
their first and last poems.
We do not know the metaphors
paralyzed, as teachers pushed
their charges into closets,

behind bookcases to safety,
before getting shot, plans
the Miss’s had made
for evenings, birthdays,
weddings to come?

            Indran Amirthanayagam, December 16, 2012


This Newtown slaughter,
first graders learning to read

and write, teachers,
principal, psychologist,

adults, women entirely,
nurturing elementary

education, now rest
of the country and world,

the human family
in anger and sadness:

What beast roared
at innocents?

Why let him out
to murder us?

            Indran Amirthanayagam, December 15, 2012

          Spare the Rod

Spare the women and children.
Our future resides in their wombs,
the homes they will build

from the ruins. We have bombed
our own since the Wall
was scaled, since that order

to murder the first born.
We try to find reason in madness,
teach our children to believe

in God, the laws, and we fail
for a time, then pick up
goods and ideas

and start to build again,
aided by time, that nothing
ends, just transforms.

            Indran Amirthanayagam, December 16, 2012


What is observed, palpable,
children hiding in closets,
behind bookcases, these
are pixels in the landscape,

essential to the viewer,
to his need to fill the holes
of his empathy, to say
come into the classroom

and watch the revenger's
tragedy, listen to silence
next door where guns
reported,  hear scratching

at the knob,  sit on eyelids
of boys and girls waiting
for the murderer to walk
out, walk in, walk out.

            Indran Amirthanayagam, December 16, 2012

          Sure Thing

I am away from home. I see the human
tragedy, children lost to parents, order
upside down, inheritance uncertain,
restoring mind after grief uncertain,
forgetting details of crime scene
and return of the gun lobby after
a couple of days in black, keeping
quiet: absolute, sure, like the gun’s
silencer, the gun itself, bullets to be spent.

                Indran Amirthanayagam, December 16, 2012

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