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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic Literary Journal

June 11, 2022

Syndic Poetry


The Art of the Spoken Word


” Theme ~ Uvalde is Family to Me ”



Uvalde is Family to Me

Written by Paul M. Levitt

Narrated by Roger Netzer


Instead of walking you to class,

We’re on our way to saying Mass.

Instead of seeing you to bed,

We’re cradling your disfigured head.

We should have been there to protect,

Instead we’re guilty of neglect.

The GOP says what’s the fuss,

Unseeing that the dead are us.

Oh dear children of Uvalde,

We sing a goodnight song for thee.


The air was fresh, the air was dry, 

A cow was flying in the sky.

A cat was bathing in the lake,

A rabbit ate a garden snake.

A whale was running on his legs,

A cock was laying golden eggs.

A polar bear, dressed all in white,

Was eating grass with great delight.

A tender wolf in lady’s dress

Was playing bear a game of chess.

An old gray cat, and very nice,

Was teaching French to several mice.

A blue swan was in great alarm.

In spite of her alluring charm.

Her husband had the other day

With mistress crow flown away.

Two hares were boxing kangaroos,

The referee was mister goose.

A duck was dancing with a fox,

And a yellow hawk with an ox.

Tortoise was racing Nelly horse.

And all the story was of course

A paradox, a paradox!


Uvalde is Family to Me

Written & Narrated by Jennifer Lagier


Uvalde is Family to Me

It’s personal.

Before Columbine, Sandy Hook, Stoneman Douglas,

a teen gunman with a grudge against immigrants

entered Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton,

slaughtered five Vietnamese students.

These were my kids, shy readers who hung out

in our small storefront library.

Angry males with automatic rifles

vent rage by mowing down youngsters.

Politicians funded by NRA blood money

worship a misconstrued second amendment,

mumble about the inevitability of violence,

refuse to consider common sense gun control.

In response, journalists debate publishing photos

of what military-grade firearms

can do to a body.

The Uvalde carnage wounds us all,

tears apart community,

leaves families traumatized

as they mourn catastrophic loss,

bury their loved ones.

We the People grieve,

reject platitudes, demand action,

implore our representatives

to protect children, not weapons


Uvalde Is Family to Me

Written & Narrated

By Charles Rammelkamp


Just back from a pilgrimage to Antietam, 
bloodiest day in American history, 
Americans killing Americans, 
over 23,000 dead in a single day: 
a family feud, Cain and Abel. 
Just so Uvalde, our children: 
more of our American family  
slain like mown-down hay 
on the altar of the Second Amendment. 
I can’t help but reflect  
on the chain of carnage 
linking the American family  
through the generations: 
the bloody bond, fastened in gore. 
A Facebook friend confesses, 
when I post a battlefield photo  
of the three-arched Burnside Bridge  
one of his ancestors owned a farm  
where so many soldiers died, 
his bloody link to the family slaughter. 
But the NRA continues to insist  
guns are our American birthright – 
a vital link binding our family. 


Uvalde is Family to Me

Written & Narrated by Francis Poole

A long time ago 

when I was five years old 

I had a girlfriend. 

She was, in fact, my first girlfriend. 

We were the same age and 

her name was Marsha. 

She had short brown hair with bangs 

kind of like Scout in the movie,  

To Kill a Mockingbird.  

We lived on the edge of Naples, Florida 

and there was a slash pine woods nearby 

that we would sometimes explore. 

Back among the scrub and palmettos  

lived an old man in a small trailer. 

Sometimes he would be friendly 

and talk to us. 

Sometimes he let us play in the clearing 

outside his front door. 

One day we were walking through the woods 

near his trailer. 

I don’t remember if we wanted 

to visit him that day 

or not. 

It seems like we were just on 

a little aimless hike. 

As we got closer he came outside 

and started yelling. 

Then he pointed something at us 

and there was a loud “crack.” 

I was holding Marsha’s right hand 

in my left. 

As soon as I heard the “crack” 

Marsha screamed, grabbed her stomach 

and started running toward 

a nearby open air wash house 

where the women washed clothes. 

I ran after her and could see 

the front of her white t-shirt was red. 

I looked at my hand and there was 

blood on my fingers. 

A couple of the women came running, 

picked her up and carried her inside the wash house 

where the other women were gathered. 

I still remember the loud cries and shrieks 

that came from that bundle of women. 

I couldn’t see what happened 

after that. 

It turned out the old man 

had fired a rifle at us 

for some unknown reason. 

The bullet had gone through 

Marsha’s right hand, 

the hand I was holding, 

and into her body  

yet somehow missing me. 

I had to tell a police officer 

what happened. 

Later I was told the old man 

didn’t get arrested 

but after a few weeks 

he and the trailer were gone. 

No one mentioned Marsha after that 

and I never saw her again. 

So is Uvalde family to me? 

Let’s see. 

If I say Yes, because of 

joy, sorrow and remembrance 

whenever I recall walking hand-in-hand 

with my little friend Marsha 

and hear the crack of a rifle 

it’s because the thing itself 

was in that. 







Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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