The War on Children

“I quoted some Scripture, I said that there are only two genders.
And apparently, because there are transgender students in the class,
this was considered bullying.” —Josh Alexander

Children today have no idea what the word “friend” might mean.
That meaning’s long since vanished—gone, just like the Pliocene.
For children’s true friends are in number few, it can be seen.

Some “friends of children” are in their foul ways no friends of truth:
They make the word as wholly out of date as a phone booth.
This friendliness towards children is the sign of claw and tooth.

The politicians smite them with unconscionable laws,
Permitting wholesale slaughter, making sure death’s gaping jaws
Are filled with the unborn, while reaping rounds of wild applause.

“Don’t cut yourself,” children are taught in school, “that’s just plain sick.
Instead, leave it to us—we know which gender you should pick,
And who can ‘fix’ you with a pair of fake breasts or fake dick.”

The medical profession is prepared to do the job
(Along with their insurers an elite white-collar mob).
They’re glad to offer kind assistance: “Sure, why not?—No prob!”

In short, a whole community is ready to attack,
Plus outliers who’ll furnish youngsters fentanyl and crack;
It’s no surprise that hordes of kids wind up on the wrong track
And ultimately just decide to give themselves the sack.



Julian D. Woodruff, who contributes poetry frequently to the Society of Classical Poets, writes poetry and short fiction for children and adults. He recently finished 2020-2021, a poetry collection. A selection of his work can be read at Parody Poetry, Lighten Up Online, Carmina Magazine, and Reedsy.

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20 Responses

  1. Brian A Yapko

    Thank you for this poem, Julian, which shines a spotlight on an awful miscarriage of justice based upon an insupportable lie which now happens to be favored by the state. Goebbels would be proud. To quote Yeats, “the center cannot hold… the ceremony of innocence is drowned… the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.” Well, I think we’re seeing mankind at its passionately-intense worst and the injustice in your poem illustrates that. God help the children.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Thank you, Brian. I sometimes wonder if Goebbels and Mengele were able to see today’s scene, would they shudder in disbelief, and maybe have an epiphany of self-revelation? Or maybe they do, and that is part of their torment in hell.

  2. Cheryl Corey

    Just two technical questions. In the line “Along with their insurers an elite white-collar mob”, do you mean to say “insurers,” or “insurers and”?
    Also, I believe that “hoards of kids” should read “hordes”; a hoard being a large stash or collection of things (as in the television show about hoarders); whereas a horde refers to people.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Thank you, Cheryl. My grandmother called my grandfather “the engineer who can spell.” I might call myself “the poet who can’t spell,” and I’m always getting those two words wrong. Correction welcome.
      On the the parenthetical phrase: I meant to include doctors and insurers, thinking I could convey that thought better without a comma after “insurers”; but in any case, I intended no explicit conjunction.

  3. Margaret Coats

    Josh Alexander’s school is Saint Joseph Catholic High School, where the purpose of the Code of Behaviour is “to create and maintain a positive and Christian learning environment in which each student can develop his or her full potential.” Julian interprets in poetic language what these words mean to principal Derek Lennox and vice-principal Julie Shreenan. They hope their hoarded hordes of kids will ultimately give themselves the sack, especially if they should honor Saint Joseph by quoting Sacred Scripture or Catholic teaching.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Thanks, Margaret. This is a good example of what can happen when schools purporting to teach and support a given faith are co-opted by the state. And that state at the moment is in many ways a sorry one at the moment.

  4. Norma Pain

    Thank you Julian for this spot-on poem about the ridiculously stupid actions that are being carried out against children and youth. Do these ‘enforcers’ not see how clearly stupid their actions are. A whole lot of cowards are operating as bullies because they are part of a group and are afraid to take a stand against their tin-pot rulers. It makes me very angry.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Yes, Norma. Vis-a-vis authority in relation to children, the rule of thumb at present is, “If you’re confused, we’ll do everything in our power to make the worst of it. If you insist WE’RE confused, we’ll make you regret you said anything.”

  5. Yael

    Thank you, I love getting news articles off the SCP. I feel like it’s one of the most tasteful, visually pleasing, and classy news delivery vehicles available on the internet. What is this format called which has 3 lines per stanza and 14 syllables? Does it have a name?

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      I’m glad the poem (and Evan’s preceding note) brought Josh Alexander’s case to your attention, Yael.
      If there’s a label for the rhyme scheme and meter I use here, I’m unaware of it. My usual strategy (as in this case) is to map out some lines and rhymes in the rough, see how they might be spaced to support my basic thought, and then see if I can make a consistent structure.

  6. Roy Eugene Peterson

    This made my blood boil today! The depths of the world’s wickedness is continually being exposed. The Dark Ages are upon us! Thank you for writing this illuminating poem and sharing it with us. Thank goodness for SCP where truth still prevails.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Thank you, Roy. I sometimes regret that it’s easier for me to make blood boil than to delight, but at least I can do the former, and I think collective rage and outrage (along with sorrow) are very necessary these days.

  7. Joshua C. Frank

    How awful! Thank you for sharing this; the SCP is where I get my news.

    As for the poem itself, the message and rhymes are good, but the meter could be more regular. That might simply be your style, I don’t know. Also, “hoards” should be “hordes.”

    I love the title; there absolutely is a war on children, with feminism, abortion, divorce, the transgender agenda, and a whole host of evils. Even a hundred years ago, books were saying that the modern world of the day was not suitable for children; what would they say today? That’s why I plan to raise mine “far from the madding crowd,” to use a line of Thomas Gray’s. I also love the part about rightly warning against cutting and then pushing breast and genital surgery on children. What kind of madness is this? Is almost everyone today demon-possessed?

    If I needed any more proof that “Catholic” schools, like almost everything that calls itself Catholic anymore, is such in name only, there it is. (I hear that other churches and Christian communities are even worse.) Things have gotten so bad in schools that I can’t see how anyone can justify not homeschooling his children if he actually cares about them.

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Thank you, Joshua. On SCP, you’re right–it’s the place for a conservative (or maybe better said, something approaching a 20-20) perspectve.
      On the meter: here I tried to keep to heptametric lines; although basically iambic, they do vary a bit (e.g., the 1st line). I think my accentuating is a bit more consistent when I’m in a satiric or parodying mode. On spelling, you’re right: see Cheryl’s comment and my response, above).
      Thanks for underlining my point about cutting. For years the West has been claiming the moral high ground by decrying genital mutilation all over while practicing it through vascecomy and tubal ligation, while also pushing abortion and “euthanasia.”
      In Canada, Catholic schooling falls roughly into two camps–tax-supported schools (ergo basically CINO) and independent Catholic schools, which are a better bet overall, but individually may give parents pause.

      • Joshua C. Frank

        I’ve come to a similar conclusion myself. We have no right to complain that some countries do what is euphemistically called “female circumcision” (but is in reality more like a female version of what was done to John Bobbitt) when we encourage girls to call themselves boys and get sterilizing hormones, anti-puberty drugs, mastectomies, hysterectomies, etc., and encourage adults to sterilize themselves so they can have sex without having children. Tell me, why is it we conservatives have the gall to call the Muslim world evil?

  8. Sally Cook

    I can think of nothing worse than to mutilate, hurt and confuse the innocent children. How dare these monsters call themselves Catholics and teachers?
    That child should count himself lucky to have been banned by the evil ones and run straight to a home school situation for some truth. And he should also tell all his friends to do the same!

    • Julian D. Woodruff

      Good point, Sally. This is more and more the case in Canada. From what I’ve read lately, it seems the same can be said of Catholic schools in the US.

  9. Julian D. Woodruff

    Oh, Sally! Savageness and treachery on one side, and on the other dismay that must be stirred to militant outrage. What a state of things!

  10. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Julian, thank you so very much for this hard-hitting, informative, and deeply shocking poem on the plight of today’s youth. It’s hard enough being a teenager without the pressures of propaganda, the skewing of truth, the threat of arrest for voicing a sane opinion in an insane world, and worst of all, the physical and psychological abuse suffered by many coerced into being neutered and mutilated. My heart bleeds for every one of them. We are in a culture war and it’s poetry like this that shines a spotlight on an ideology so insidious it needs to be addressed… you do it perfectly and for that I am most grateful!


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