Originally published in The Epoch Times.

LinkedIn’s Censorship in China

LinkedIn connects people the world over,
Crafting a cozy café oceans wide
Where people can sip with each other,
Do business without an eight-hour ride.

Yet, recently, when I was at LinkedIn,
I noticed something red in my chai tea;
It tasted of metal, horror and sin;
The creamer was puss oozing profusely

From a Tiananmen Square protester’s arm,
Rotting away after twenty-five years,
From the communists’ torturous harm
To Falun Gong, a hint of salty tears.

I spat out the nightmare, ran out the door,
“If this is censorship, I want no more!”


A Bud of Spring

I look upon a bud of spring and dwell
“Is your journey through depths of suffering
Through the vicissitudes of wintry hell
Worth your tiny not quite green offering?”

“You are but a penitent, lone and meek
Confined for your short life you’ll always be
To this rigid branch, not that high, quite weak,
To be alive but never to be free.”

The tiny bud, more alive than I thought,
Shakes its bulbous head in the gentle breeze
And, in language that can’t be figured out
But can be felt and clearly known with ease,

To me speaks: “How shallow is your vision;
I’m not a single bud, I am a tree,
But not the single tree you imagine,
All maple trees together that is me;

Yet, if they are all dead, I still exist,
I am the perfect tree, the King of Trees;
How does a small seed grow and not desist,
How does it grow with such form and ease?

Because in my Realm, it’s already there,
A piece of my vast body eons old,
And yet my body is in fact right here,
If you can free your mind you will behold.”

On hearing this I feel myself expand,
My body like a translucent robe
Darkly wrinkled in a gripping hand
Released, it spreads upon our tiny globe.

Spreads beyond stars that lord over the night,
And wavelengths my eyes are accustomed to,
Beyond emotions of fright and delight,
Beyond what I always thought must be true.

There, in a sea of endless life and light,
Floating, I meet the tiny bud once more
I say, “Then it’s all real and you are right,
Remind me next time I am such a boor!”


Evan Mantyk is a poet and English teacher living in New York.

Featured Image: “Winter in Jackson” by Erik Koeppel.





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