To the Manchester Children's Monster

by Darryl Price


“As you do it unto the least of these so you do it unto me.” —Jesus


These children that you murder are not

your enemy. They are not your pain

or your personal sorrow. They are,

if anything, flowers blowing and

growing in the wind by the side

of the road. They're not your misguided love of


hatred. They are not your sharpened and

drawn poisonous ideology. They are a

direct link to your own seed. These kids

that you murder all have sweet names. You

have not erased their names. You will not

ever erase their names from us. We


are still carrying their names forward as we go.

You have destroyed their faces to prove

you are a sickened barbarian. So you are.

Certainly not a man, you were not

Man-enough to protect them, but yes

always a coward with a gun. That is your place


in the history of this planet now.

They can never forgive you for your

foolish chosen ugliness, not now. These

children that you murder have nothing

to do with your foolish propaganda. Your cruel family

politics. They are not the liars here.


You have not silenced them. They laugh and

scream and play in your head all day long

for all eternity. You will have

no home without them.  These children make up

the sun and the moon and the stars. You

have tried to murder the sky, but the sky


will remain because of children like

these and yours.  Children that you wait in hiding

to harm cannot defend you to the

parents anymore, their brothers, those

left lost and lonely. But they'll have us for dear

friends. You have others like you, drenched in


hallucinatory fears. Makers

of miserable chaos. These ones

that you murder could have helped you to

straighten out, out of your self-imposed

hell, but you chose to listen to your

nightmare master instead. Go. He calls you.

Bonus poems:

The Cliffs by Darryl Price


The flying trees had always gone back to being

the forest on its knees again, building its own

army against the encroaching birds and their blue widening

scarves. You could say it another way. Peace is

made but only kept by an emphasis on space.

Otherwise everything bites everything else and nothing gets any


sleep or sympathy. Listen. Grab a branch. Humanity is

just another one of those endless philosophical debates.  The

flying trees flew into the mountains and stuck there.

It was a long time before they decided to

open their eyes and look down the cliffs at

what their lives had become. The nobility of having


traveled all that way got lost in the translation

from leaf to leaf.  It doesn't make any difference.

Roots began their own religion and taught the stones

to speak. Then the rivers tried to buy hedge

favor with certain fish and on and on. Oh did

I mention the owls? They waited until the mice


were good and fat before they came out as

the moon's spies, with their saliva full of stars,

with their feathers full of stolen forks. Snails smeared

a warning on the ground, but weeds covered it

up with a bunch of oversized heads, too big

to be mistaken for a migration of moths. The


flying trees had made the classic mistake of believing

in a god that only loved trees. And now

as you can plainly see they have poetry written

all over their faces. That may not tell the

real story but it does hum the right tune

in the heat. I can't help it. The flying


trees are beautiful in their practiced sorrow like any

group of amateur dancers. They may still have a

long way to go, but I want to whisper

something tender to them before that happens. The flying

trees are remembering something all together, and when it finally clicks

there will be no more need for such raw confusion.  dp

Paths by Darryl Price


I don't know where you are. I have

no idea where you are or

what you are doing or if you're

stuck in anything like tar. But

I remember when you were deep

and dreaming and pretty and out

loud for a living. I believed

in something then and maybe I


still do. I don't know. I couldn't

wait for you to decide if I

should live or die. I didn't have

that many honest choices that

didn't include me being a

someone else at the end of the world. You could

always match your outfit to the

party occasion more than me.


I risked everything for love. It

should come as no surprise that I

broke all the rules and lost. But if

I could speak to the new flowers

here now I would tell them to shine

free, and brightly despite all the storms, the

pummeling hail. This isn't a

long distance phone call from my time


machine. Let the bad news come from

someone else's crooked mouth. I

never meant for you to fall so

far away from me. There are too

many paths in the heart. But I

haven't met any innocent

parties yet. It's too late for me

to pretend to not be fully awake.    


Boo is for Buddha

All my life I've been

A sad ghost boy but

Who wanted to be

Happy. All life like

A hurt cartoon stranger

But I just needed to be good at this

And love. All my life

I've rejected the

Blind emptiness of


False innocence. All

My life I've been an

Angry young ghost waiting

For a reprieve.

My life I've admired

Courage and kindness, but it's hard to

Find true healing. All

My life I've been a

Believer but I


Mean to persevere.

All my life I do

My best to bring music

Home to you. All

Life, like a praying

Soul wishing for some small tenderness in

Its head to set us

Free! All my life I've

Spent wild planting and


Weaving this garden

Tapestry for you.

The words contain rows

Of colors—all are

Native to my heart.

All my life like a wandering ghost who

Speaks the silence with

Anyone that will

Listen. All my life


I've been a lonely

Ghost looking for this

Dance. All my life as

If resting my face

In your head of hair. All life

Long traveling on the dharma hoping

For a luminous

Awakening one

Blessed and holy day.