By Evan Mantyk

The Chinese mother tells me her story
About persecution in a far land,
I’m awed by the magnificent glory.

The torture was so brutal and gory
That I cannot begin to comprehend,
The Chinese mother tells me her story.

As an American, I’m deeply sorry
So few, like pilgrims, have taken a stand,
I’m awed by the magnificent glory.

Many of the products our stores carry
Are made by spiritually shackled hands,
The Chinese mother tells me her story.

But, atheism and iPhones can’t bury
The vast truth the awakened understand,
I’m awed by the magnificent glory.

High we rise! All turns crisp that was blurry,
The old world shrinks and our new roles expand,
The Chinese mother tells me her story,
I’m awed by the magnificent glory.


Originally published in The Epoch Times.

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 and Part II.

Featured Image: “Entering the Divine Realm with Purity” by Xiaoping Chen. (


NOTE: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.

3 Responses

  1. Neal Whitman

    Evan, thank you for Part III. It is fitting to use a classical form to speak for the universal principle of religious freedom and on behalf of this group in China. Poets, wherever they live, are members of one family. We all are members of Falun Gong. LIkewise, all poets are cousins of Liu Xiaobo who was in prison when awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He spoke out in defense of Falun Gong in his book, No Enemies, No Hatred. HIs essays and poems inspired my poem that last spring was dropped from balloons, along with poems from poets around the world. over the divided city of Nicosia in Cyprus. I hope my poem, though not in classical form, is a welcome addition to the poetical call for tyrants to fail … and some day to fall.

    Neal Whitman


    at the edge of Chinatown

    held every Sunday

    caged birds are given respite

    from their solitary existence

    two dozen birdcages

    hooked high up on racks

    a zebra dove

    a small and slender bird

    speaks in birdspeak

    before the Bird Parliament

    he speaks for Liu Xiaobo

    whose keepers detain him

    a bird sings

    because it has a song

    all sing in harmony

    endless possibilities

    curiously familiar

    no enemies no hatred


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.