“Power grows out of the barrel of a gun” -Mao Zedong

Power grows out of the plight of the poor
Peasants broken-backed, burdened by hunger
The blood stained earth screams of endless toiling
A red flag flies for all those still dying

Power cries out for all the silenced ones
Those broken by torture and prison
Forever silenced by liberation
Power wielded by their brothers and sons

Power grows out of the flames of history
Lost forever—temples gone and turned to ash
Ancient artifacts crumbled to decay
All the stories reduced to only one

Power grows out of this Great Leap Forward
This great deadening of humanity
Crushed by this deranged concept of progress
Backward into hopelessness and despair

Time turns against this heartless pantomime
Powerful and weak alike turn to ash
The earth is a silent witness waiting
For the great unfolding of a new spring


An Elegy for the Chairman

Mao Zedong rests encased in glass,
While visitors shuffle by en masse,
To see his great, orange glowing head.
Tyrant exalted among the dead.
A pop-icon print hangs from walls.
The face of some foreign place calls.
For Tiananmen’s tortured remain,
All of the faces with no name.
While the living are crushed under tanks,
The cruelest rises highest in the ranks.


Cheryl Devaney a former English language teacher who worked in South Korea for three years, and currently a graduate school student.

Featured Image: From the Nine Commentaries, Mao Zedong on the far right.

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One Response

  1. Durlabh Singh


    Reflections upon reflections
    Reflections in the mirror
    Multiplying manifold
    A single solitary image.

    The world became a deeper reflection of divine
    In its multiple misery and abundant canine
    Though a dull image with dusty overlay
    Mingled rigidly by senses to cover their outlay.

    We ourselves some images of very chance
    Reflecting upon reflections in our sultry calm
    But deeper down our soul we may dig its mire
    And throw away our superfluous winded attire.

    There will shine an image of our being
    Reflection upon reflection of mirror into mirror
    Of mirror into mirror of infinity to hand
    Of infinity of redemption in an intenser land.


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