By Evan Mantyk

Dull electric pain shoots through her body,
The policemen touch her with the baton,
White wings sprout from the majestic lady.

To die for higher truth, she is ready,
No bread on earth is harder to chew on,
Dull electric pain shoots through her body.

Truth, Compassion, Patience keep her steady,
A meal to nourish her for an eon,
White wings sprout from the majestic lady.

Around her, their withered souls look shady,
By the state’s lies they’re tragically conned,
Dull electric pain shoots through her body.

Cherubs gather above everybody,
Heaven’s fine particles part like sweet dawn,
White wings sprout from the majestic lady.

Unsuccessful, they’re hungry and bloody,
The Gods’ epic scales are evenly drawn,
Dull electric pain shoots through her body,
White wings sprout from the majestic lady.

 

The villanelle is a form of highly structured poetry with origins dating back to 16th century France, though some place it earlier. I have used this form here to depict the persecution of Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) practitioners in modern China.  Click here to read Part I.

Note: Truthfulness (Zhen), Compassion (Shan), and Tolerance (Ren) are the three main principles of Falun Gong.

Featured Image: “Psychiatric Abuse” by Xiaoping Chen (en.falunart.org).

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2 Responses

  1. neal Whitman

    Evan,

    Thank you for more poetry speaking out on this human rights violation in China. What makes this villanelle work for me is the power of its repeat lines. When I read the poem out loud, the power of those lines became even stronger for me due to the consonance in their end words. I hope my praise is not diminished with one tweak! Instead of shortening the word Tolerance to fit the syllable count, I would have preferred a 2-syllable word such as Respect. This became apparent to me when I read out loud. But, I am only one reader and other readers might prefer the poem as is. Might I add that this poem reminded me of why dictators fear poets — poets ask the reader to have the last word. That goes against the dictator’s demand to have the last word!

    Peace at home and in the world,
    Neal Whitman

    Reply

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