Gaza Poems

By Micheal R Burch

Such Tenderness

for the mothers of Gaza

There was, in your touch, such tenderness — as

only the dove on her mildest day has,

when she shelters downed fledglings beneath a warm wing

and coos to them softly, unable to sing.


What songs long forgotten occur to you now—

a babe at each breast? What terrible vow

ripped from your throat like the thunder that day

can never hold severing lightnings at bay?


Time taught you tenderness—time, oh, and love.

But love in the end is seldom enough …

and time?—insufficient to life’s brief task.

I can only admire, unable to ask—


what is the source, whence comes the desire

of a woman to love as no God may require?


I Pray Tonight

for the mothers and children of Gaza

I pray tonight

the starry light


surround you.

I pray

each day

that, come what may,

no dark thing confound you.


I pray ere tomorrow

an end to your sorrow.

May angels’ white chorales

sing, and astound you.


“I Pray Tonight” was originally published by Kritya and has been set to music by the composer Mark Buller and performed at a charity concert for Houston hurricane victims. 

First they came for the Muslims

after Martin Niemoller

First they came for the Muslims

and I did not speak out

because I was not a Muslim.


Then they came for the homosexuals

and I did not speak out

because I was not a homosexual.


Then they came for the feminists

and I did not speak out

because I was not a feminist.


Now when will they come for me

because I was too busy and too apathetic

to defend my sisters and brothers?


The above poem was inspired by and patterned after Martin Niemoller’s famous Holocaust poem. It has been published in Amnesty International’s Words That Burn anthology, which is used as a free training resource for young human rights activists.


Michael R. Burch has over 6,000 publications, including poems that have gone viral. His poems have been translated into fourteen languages and set to music by eleven composers. He also edits The HyperTexts (online at



2 replies on “Gaza Poems”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s