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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic Literary Journal

June 2022

Published by LeRoy Chatfield

Uvalde Is Family To Me

Letters to the Publisher

You stimulate these thoughts:
  • I heard Michael Moore say that we need to accept that there are those in our country who love their guns more than they do their children. Amen. Here is the frame for dialogue of present infatuation with guns.
  • The answer such people give to the violence is to provide more guns thereby adding fuel to the flames of death. 
  • Assault rifles. Dictionary defines “assault” as “a physical attack” An assault rifle attacks well beyond the physical. It attacks and undermines moral structures that hold the sanctity of life. I must affirm and proclaim Albert Schweitzer’s Reverence for Life and Jesus’ gospel of love.May I have the voice and will to shout it from the roof tops.
  •  “You must let little children come to me, and you must never stop them. The kingdom of Heaven belongs to little children like these!” Matthew 19:14 J. B. Phillips translation
  • Uvalde has been a topic of conversation in our retirement village dining room. We try to avoid any confrontations or arguments at the table, but there are those who nonchalantly parrot Abbott and Cruz .I will try not to debate, but give witness to a loving and more rational alternative. 
These are the first fruits that have come to my mind and heart from your article. I anticipate further gleanings as I ponder – and read more Syndic. 
Don Fado
Dear LeRoy,
You have a big heart.
I am proud to be on your good list.
I have thought long and hard about such needless killings,
here in the USA, and other parts of the world.
My memory of what happened in my own family and my wife’s
is still too strong to write any more about than I already have.
Just in passing:  My father and his brothers running from being
murdered by a Cossack, as they were leaving Odessa, Ukraine;
my wife’s mother just missed being bayoneted hiding under a
mattress during a pogrom in Poland;  the films taken during
the encounter with the Shoah camps ordered by General
Eisenhower, I saw while in a projection class as part of my
becoming a Chaplain’s Assistant at Fort Huachuca, Arizona;
the many accounts of terror resulting in the killing of
numerous women and children . . .
Such memories and writings tear at the essence of my neshumah.
At present, I must focus on the positives: the completion of
my efforts as the American editor of bilingual (Korean /
English) international anthology  BTWIV (Bridging the Waters IV)
and journal KEL27 (Korean Expatriate Literature 27) deadline
for submission yesterday, today to transmit to my Korean co-editor/publisher.
I hope you understand.
But I cheer you in your excellent efforts at doing something to stop
the massacres . . .
A big hug and thanks,
Stanley H. Barkan, Poet/PublisherCross-Cultural Communications239 Wynsum Avenue Merrick, NY 11566-4725/USATel: 516/868-5635 Fax: 516/379-1901Email: [email protected]
Leroy, I have experienced the same emotions and sadness.  
Dick Maw
On this sad, Memorial Day –
Where are the Americans?
Honoring Heroes
Who paid the price
For freedom, our way of life
They were Americans
Remembering children and two teachers
Murdered at their school
Their innocence lost, recesses gone
Where are the Americans?
Priorities so clear
A simple choice
Children or weapons
Where are the Americans?
No summer fun
Just silence, sweet memories
Action need not wait another day
Where are the Americans?
Congressional voices droning
Sad and repetitious
Clearly just inane
Where are the Americans?
Empty rhetoric  
Filling up the air
The question still remains
Where are the Americans?
DM 5/30/22
Rich Fathy

Prohibit by federal legislation the possession, sale and manufacture of any automatic weapon for civilians.

Require by federal legislation a license for any civilian to possess any single action weapon.

Limit by federal legislation a possession license to no more than five years, and then require a renewal process as rigorous as the license’s initial issuance.

Donate to federal legislative candidates who would enact the above.


Leroy, brother in faith and values,

     Rec’d your personal letter this a.m. about the super tragedy in Uvalde.  My wife and I have been following the terror of the terrible war in Ukraine and asking ourselves the question:  what could be worse?  And then we had our answer: Uvalde, Texas.

      Our solution to the problem of “murders by gun” in the united states:  vote the enablers out of office, whether local, state or federal. 

      Thanks for sharing your personal response and asking for ours.

Respectfully and with comprehensive admiration,

     Bob (Timothy) and Marilyn rose Edwards



I will attach a poem I  wrote some time ago, before going to Sacramento for the California Catholic lobby day.
Glad to hear you are alive and still doing good, building the Kingdom of God.  Teillard de Chardin said that we are evolviing toward that Omega pointe and now that we have evolved to consciousness we can participate in evolving , or if we do evil we slow down our evolution toward the full revelation of the Body of Christ.  That is his view of the Parousia.
Love and peace to you and your family.

Nightmare on Good Friday

Last night I went to the Holy Thursday Mass.

Father washed the feet of 12 of God’s holy people

And we all washed each other’s hands.

We sang “Where charity and love prevail

There God is ever found.

Brought here together by Christ’s love,

By love are we thus bound.”

Then we ate the Body of Christ

And we became more fully the Body of Christ ourselves, together…

And He our Head more fully.

At 5:00 a.m. this morning,

I awoke startled by a frightening dream….

I had come to Sacramento

(in Spanish the “Holy Sacrament”)

With a large group of brothers and sisters

To talk with our elected leaders

About our collective responsibility

As Catholics, Christians, human beings…

To respect the lives

Of our unborn, poor-born, foreign-born

And unloved-born, brothers and sisters.

Suddenly a young Hispanic woman

(Or was she African-American?)

Burst into the large room, where we had gathered!

She was a street soldier,

A gang member,

A revolutionary.

Or was she an infantry-person

Of the U. S. Army?

I could not tell.

She wore baggy camouflaged clothes

With an M-l6 semi-automatic strapped over her shoulder.

She was mad…

And bad…

And sad!

To my surprise,

No one else noticed her,

So she grabbed her weapon

And began to to fire a burst of rounds

Into the ceiling!

Till all were shocked to silence,

Except for a scattering of terror-shrieks

And the muffled sounds of

Scrambling under tables.

Then she spoke:

I can’t take Jesus’ Body into mine,

Because I have taken in

Too many men!

And I have driven His Body out of mine

Seven times already…tiny and innocent!

(I am crying as I write this

For she is crying inside,

But hides her tears behind her gun.)

I was born poor (she continues)

My mother tried to love me,

But when the police killed my father,

She left the seven of us little ones

To work in the fields.

Sometimes my mother did not come home till morning.

My brother explained:

Sometimes Mr. Jim, her boss, needed her

Late at night…

So she stayed with him in a motel.

Sometimes when my brothers were older,

They taught me to play house

And slept with me ’cause I was scared…

And did things I didn’t understand…

(Again she began firing her M-l6 into the air

And we all ducked!)

And now I’m mad! She screamed.

She throws the gun to the floor and begins to sob.

The crowd stands motionless.

We are immobilized.

Paralyzed by what we see and hear.

Then a tall, grey-haired man in a suit

Breaks free from the room full of statues,

Walks boldly from the crowd toward her.

He throws his arms around her as she weeps.

Then an old woman hobbles over to her.

Weeping she hugs them both.

Now the whole room swarms to embrace her

And I remember Jesus in the crowd with stones

That no one threw.

She could not take in Jesus,

So Jesus takes her in.

By Joseph V. Melton

April 21, 2000




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