The Day the Persecution Began

“The year is 1999, July,
A king of terror would come from the sky,”
The Frenchman Nostradamus prophesized
Indeed, the red dragon in China flies.
It covers all in its violent shadow,
Into detention centers it throws
The practitioners of Falun Dafa,
The hardworking citizens of China.
The day is July 20th, the same day
That Nero’s flames in Rome still licked and swayed,
The same red flames he would blame on Christians
And use to fuel bloody persecution.
Again, the noble-hearted followers
Of the Way and Truth are made to suffer,
Again, the scene obscured to those on earth
Like game pieces with a perspective dearth.

On atheism and unquestioned science,
On power, control, decades of pretense,
Was fed the bloated Communist Party,
And now it sees a fresh new enemy,
A way to prove its prowess, reclaim might,
To show its state-sponsored claws can still fight,
And destroy “superstitions” of the past,
And hide that its own ignorance is vast.

One hundred million placid adherents,
Who believe in Truth-Compassion-Forbearance,
(Their voyage began, seven years before,
In 1992, their sails first soared.
That’s five hundred years after Columbus
Unveiled a great continent before us
They embarked upon a spiritual journey
Of meditation and discovery.)

Upon the relentless waves of hist’ry
And facing a dragon who breathes mis’ry
These unknown heroes are poised on time’s crest,
Today, they must pass the evilest test.


The Chain
Upon a Marriage

One hand reaches for another,
It grasps tight in the fast current,
Each one’s arm is linked together,
Each finger locked and diligent.

The human chain swerves to and fro,
It reaches out to those swept away
In the stream’s turgid manic flow
Distressed eyes are withered and gray.

The chain plucks out those who it can;
It takes them to safe and firm land,
On the moral fiber of man,
On solid character you can stand.

Oh no! One link has been broken!
A gap near the tip of the chain
Is now fatally sprung open
It burst apart amidst the strain

Behold! What’s that? A golden light!
Someone new appears from upstream:
She grabs one hand fast with her right
The left is too far so it seems.

Across from her, he stretches out
To reconnect the broken chain;
So piercing the pain, he wants to shout,
No time to think or to complain.

He only knows it can’t be hewed,
The one long hope must not sever,
The link is made, the quest renewed!
The chain is longer than ever.


Evan Mantyk is an English Teacher in upstate New York.

Featured Image: “A Battle Between Good and Evil” by Zhiping Wang. Description: The man and woman in the forefront hold signs that read “Truth, Compassion, Forbearance,” and “The Law rectifies the universe.” The spirits of the plainclothes policemen bow before their victims, suggesting that the police have been deluded by higher authorities into carrying out orders against their own conscience.


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2 Responses

  1. james sale

    Great stuff Evan. Like again your rhymes, eg diligent/current, but check the final stanza of The Chain: isn’t that sever, not severe? A spell check failure alas! Happy Boxing Day.

    • Evan Mantyk

      The American spelling? … Just kidding, thanks for the correction, James, and Merry Christmas.


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