Read about forced organ harvesting in China here.


This man is lost, dead,
His organs taken.
Dark; hard to look at:
His drained flesh sunken,
With hard, dark, stitch scars …
Gone, save this token.
Elsewhere, his organs
Live where they’re foreign.



The non-consenting body
Knifed with no anaesthetic.
Surgeons learn exacting skill,
Slicing candles to their wick.
Doctors use this careful kill:
Cut flesh like wax, cut it quick,
Then burn it down in a kiln—
Bodiless organs. Smoke trick.


Bad News

Human rights, last rites,
None. Healing’s reverse.
Disbelief fattens.
Information’s terse.
Not ‘news’ — longstanding.
Any angle’s perverse.
China adds pressure.
Reporting grows worse.


Damian Robin is a writer and editor living in the United Kingdom.

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41 Responses

    • Damian Robin

      Many find the individual stories and the background of taking organs from prisoners of conscience hard to believe.
      A documentary, called ‘Hard to Believe’, charting some of these crimes on innocents and how the information has come to light, has been shown in venues around the world, received good reviews, and prizes, and is available online

    • Damian Robin

      It’s astonishing that organ theft has been going on for so long in China and how the number of transplants in China doubled and tripled and has grown bigger since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999.
      There are other groups targeted — Uighurs, Tibetans, Christians, secular dissidents, probably lawyers — but Falun Gong has by far the largest number of adherents and has the largest number of deaths from forced organ harvesting.
      Thanks to Adam for posting the link to
      There is a wealth of detail there on the investigative journalism and research done on how the Chinese regime organises these atrocities on a country-wide scale.
      Do take a look. It is the biggest human rights violation and many associate it with the holocaust of the second world war.

  1. Daniel Magdalen

    I find the poems to be concise and right to the point, evoking flashes of the brutal and almost indescribable abomination which is forced live organ harvesting. It is indeed quite difficult to put into words these images which refer to such extreme human experiences. A process of thoroughly documenting these crimes against humanity has recently expanded and the world has become increasingly aware of this. Investigative reports have progressively identified different categories of evidence on this, as one can see by reading the following study: Also, the international community has started to respond and condemn forced organ harvesting, as this recent resolution adopted by the US Congress indicates: I hope that the persecution of Falun Gong and the forced live organ harvesting, which these innocent victims are subjected to, will soon come to an end.

    • Damian Robin

      Thanks Daniel for putting the link to the update above. It is an update on research done by eminent lawyers, a retired high-ranking Canadian politician, and an american journalist and China expert living ing the UK. It is a thorough investigation into forced live organ harvesting in China. I have not read all of it as it is 700+ pages. However, it is something that can be jumped into at any point and it will be found jaw-dropping. The statistics were compiled and analysed with the help of many assistants who phoned hospitals in China, others who trawled through Chinese medical journals, hospital reports, statements by medical professionals and Health officials in China, and related websites including even old caches of information that had been taken down but not completely deleted.

      One strand of the international response is the initiatives taken by Israel, Spain, (and very bravely) by Taiwan, and last year by Italy, is to put checks on organ tourism. Organ tourism is that name given to the traveling to China for organ transplants. The organs can be made available in two weeks and booked before, so it is not natural deaths or traffic accidents we are talking about.

      What Israel, Spain, Taiwan, and Italy have done is to prevent medical support being given to those who return from China with new organs.

      Many countries have made statements and resolutions (a number have been made in the UK and the European Parliament) abhorring the practice of forced organ harvesting from live donors. However, they remain words — sane and stand-out words, but words nevertheless. Ethan Gutmann, one of the authors of the update , pointed this out in a July delivery this year to the Irish Assembly (Dáil Éireann).

      There he also said about the victims of Forced live organ harvesting
      “… anyone who has been close to the data in the way that myself, David Matas and David Kilgour have, has concluded that they are mainly prisoners of conscience. They are often arrested without any due process whatever. They cannot be charged with any capital crimes and in the case of Falun Gong they are absolutely non-violent. Often, they are people who are not even on the books and are being put to death. This is where this huge pool of organs is coming from. I would like to say that this is science fiction but I was here in 2013 [giving evidence to the Dáil] and I am afraid that the evidence has become exponentially worse and more explicit since then … ”

  2. Damian Robin

    Above, I’m like a crane, I twist my brain,
    cross-fertilising seeds to hybrid grain:
    not translations, nor the English norm,
    English takeaways of Chinese form,

    grafted, ancient Chinese poetry
    on crops of present Chinese tragedy. 
    Not sensive, maybe, to bud this out
    but apposite, I hope, and with some clout.

    • Damian Robin

      — Lüshi (pronounced something like a tight-lipped ‘loo’ with ‘shr’) have eight lines with a rhyme on each second line. Each line can have five or seven Chinese characters. I have made one English syllable stand for a Chinese character. The finer points of development and parallelisms, I have been light with.

  3. Damian Robin

    Organ stealing and broken friendship

    “Nothing’s perfect — good and bad, they float,
    then Time’s flow drowns the details — let it pass.”
    So oozed my Chinese friend — I felt remote.
    I felt she’d spattered me with shattered glass.

    She strained reality and forced to see
    the sunshine pinnacles that glint midstream —
    the surface glitz and splash economy,
    the glass-thin dance show of the Party’s dream.

    I’d told her of the cash cow transplant horror,
    happening now in wards all over China,
    where organs switch, one human to another,
    where one stays live, and one’s a discard donor.

    I made ref’rence to her doctor mother
    who’d done abortions for the one child rule.
    (I had not said she might’ve forced a mother
    to have her baby killed, unwilled and cruel.)

    This brought the waterfall of forced defence,
    of how the Party did not do such things —
    of how she loved her country — how her sense
    of love was ticked off by my bellyings —

    of how her mother would not know such things —
    there was no spying on the internet —
    the past was gone — how could I prove such things —
    there’s good and bad — so let’s get on, forget.

    In my last email I asked her why,
    if no surveillance, did she feel alarm.
    From then my emails were left out to dry.
    I felt I’d fished too hard and caused her harm.

    She used set ways to listen, look, and think.
    It was the Party’s sea in which she grew.
    Born submerged, what liquor could she drink
    with Party thirst the only thirst she knew?

    Persistent truth pushed her to speak that way,
    supporting evil in no conscious way.
    Could she keep the dragon’s teeth at bay?
    Would she be in its jaws on Judgement Day?

  4. Evan

    Thank you for shining a light on this atrocity, Damian.

    I wonder if Lushi is the same as Chinese “regulated verse” which also has eight lines? I kind of thought they used a rhyme scheme of AABA CCDC, but I could be mistaken and there could be variation between periods as well.

    • Damian Robin

      Thanks, Evan.
      To be specific, the title used on the top of this post is different to the one I put forward. Falun Gong are the biggest group murderd in this way but Uighurs (North China’s muslims), Tibetan and other Buddhists, Christians, and presumably Toaists and other religious groups, as well as political and other disidents are all disposed of in this way. Falun Gong is by far the largest group and may be 90% or more of the killed by this method.

  5. Damian Robin

    Thanks Evan.

    Lushi is part of regulated verse, Jintishi. As ‘regulated verse’ in English has a wide meaning, I’m sure it is applied to forms of poetry that are regulated but not strictly Jintishi. Jintishi literally means “modern-form poetry” and is considered to have roots in the 5th century.

    There are shorter and longer versions of jintishi, one, a quatrain, jueju, used a lot by Du Fu, Li Bai, Du Mu, Wang Wei, to name the more famous ones; the five and seven character forms of jueju have different names so I presume this is so with Lushi that can also be written with five or seven characters.

    The longer version, pailu, extends itself by adding more couples.

    However, in all of them, parallelism is mandatory.

    As I was playing with the form to see if it would be useful as a transfer to English writing, I did not go deeply into the parallels as they extend to parts of speech, number, position in a sentence, meaning that encompass being exact, synonymous, opposite, similar in a relevant way, or dissimilar in a precise and particular way, or just look similar. And they need to conform to a tonal parallel pattern. So, to render this faithfully into a non-Chinese language is not for the faint-hearted. It also becomes part of the bigger question about whether if it is necessary to introduce foreign verse forms into English or European writing. They are from a different cultural and historical background and English and European poetry have strong and useful forms as is.

    Parallelism is inherent in old Chinese literature, prose included. (Incidentally, a lot of Chinese prose has internal rhyme that is often used for itself not its meaning.) Parallelism would be familiar and essential knowledge to Chinese writers so they would have found it easier than a non-native might but still a skill to be practiced and shown-off as well as being mandatory and deep in the heart of old Chinese writing.

  6. Damian Robin

    Hi again, Evan. The AABA CCDC could be a repeat form of jueju. Here the rhyme on the second and fourth lines are matched by the first.

    Unless the rhyme on the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 8th were the same it would not be a Lüshi.

    • Evan

      Thank you, Damian. By the way, here is some original music also exposing the organ harvesting, in case you haven’t seen it yet:

      • Damian Robin

        Thanks Evan, this is beautiful — such powerful sound from three very skilled acoustic performers. Incredible vocal harmonics and sensitive guitar. And lyrics.

        You will know, I know, Evan:
        The “skinned and dismembered, plastic-filled veins” lyric of The Good Seeds above is a reference to plastination, a form of preserving human and animal flesh. It has an awkward history, as the first plastination factory was in Dalian. Yes “factory” as in: wheel in the dead humans, soak them in solution, snip and tuck and hang them in ‘life-like’ poses, and pass them out as almost indestructible, immobile, plastic-strengthened artifacts for places of learning and entertainment.

        Dalian is in northeast China where the worst repression of Falun Gong happened from 1999. Bo Xilai was mayor there. Bo Xilai and his wife were seen as the next-best thing for the Party, and he was touted as a possible Party leader. Then the seams of their faces came apart revealing the murder of a UK citizen. His allegedly (must keep some semblance of the law in these allegedly corrupting circumstances) his allegedly supervising the murder of potentially thousands of prisoners of conscience did not come up in the public side of his trial.

        Dr Gunther Von Hagen, the inventor and developer of plastination and director of its objets d’art et objets d’éducation, got out of Dalian when the going was good and took his work to his Institute for Plastination in Heidelberg, and to his Plastinarium in Guben, and his online plastination selling site, and on tour in his “Body Works” Exhibition.

        “Body Works” is mutant cross of education and morbid aesthetics. It has spliced, lacerated, partially dissected and dismembered, real dead human bodies side-by-side with animals in similar positions of dis-dressed de-skined-ness. Some exhibits include the remains of animals and of humans together; some have pregnant babies still visible in the partly cutaway womb; some have a couple copulating showing slice-of-life insides of the reproductive organs; some are on show on their own, playing basket ball and other team sports, and chess. All life is there, in dead ringers; but in the past, and perhaps still now, not always with the documentation for this body treatment from either the dead person or their family.

        Anyway, I’ve gone too far here but far from all the way. Look at an old but still relevant ten minute talk on the history here

        And remember the beautiful tones of the Good Seeds and what they sing
        Thaks Evan, for the introduction.

  7. Becky James

    Thank you for bringing this to light. It is horrific and the world needs to wake up.

    • Damian Robin

      Thanks Becky. I know you’ve been doing a lot of work promoting films and seminars about ending organ harvesting. And I believe it has been distressing and pressurising because there are often brick walls to get through or climb. And the spectre of the Chinese Communist Party is never far away. Good luck and good works.

      • Becky James

        Hi. Thank you. It can be a strain but letting people know is so important. That’s why I felt this information going out as poetry is shining a new light.

  8. Mary Man

    Thanks Damian for raising awareness of the terrible crime committed by Chinese Communist Party.

    • Damian Robin

      Thanks, Mary, you translated Ethan Gutman’s book “The Slaughter” from English to Chinese.
      To give it is full title “The Slaughter: Mass Killings, Organ Harvesting, and China’s Secret Solution to Its Dissident Problem” is a good history of the persecution of Falun Gong and the murder by organ extraction of prisoners of conscience in China.
      I hope your work goes far in China and global Chinese communities.

    • Damian Robin

      Thank you, Mr Yang. We cannot hope for this to stop without understanding the nature of the CCP and communism. Far from being the dead duck in a post-revolutionary world, communism is a vulture pulling out the vibrancy of morality, tradition, and human spirituality.

      We can come a long way to understanding the Chinese form of communism by reading “The Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party”.
      Translated into thirty-three languages, it can be read here in English.
      It came out in 2004 as a series in the Chinese edition of the New York-based Epoch Times. Written by China experts with direct insight and experience of the CCP, it has headed a move away from the communist ideologies and institutions in the Chinese form.

      The American form — more of a parasite than a persecutor – can be seen in

      Both these films use the Christian right, free market microscope to trace the sub-soil roots of communism. Although the microscope itself is not given the scrutiny that is put on communism, both films have substantial scholarship beefed up by broad visuals and well-paced sound.

      These are good places to start dismantling the degrading communism and its sidekicks, socialism, liberalism, progressivism and other disguised forms of negative philosophy.

  9. Tony Langstone

    Damian’s poems always bring to light, the atrocities going on in China. His poetry has a depth to it through which the reader experiences the cruelty, the pain, the utter disbelief, the lack of help which should otherwise come & the benign indignation China’s officials & doctors have for human life. In fact the Red Terror is portrayed very succinctly within his words.

    Well done Damian

  10. Stefanos Matrakoukas

    Harvesting organs from innocent people just because they practice meditation exercises? Unspeakable evil.

    • Damian Robin

      Thanks Min shen. Yes, it must end.
      Many people are helping this to happen by making forms of art.
      Here is a film you may already know.
      It is short and almost surreal. It touches on the ideas of people being affected by the personalities of the donor.
      It also relates the horrors of how the transplant is carried out as well as what happens to Falun Gong prisoners before the transfer of organs.

  11. Paul Gray

    Since Then.
    You could call it organ stealing
    For she took off with my heart
    Since then I’ve been a monkey
    Dancing round the cart
    The organ grinds
    I am all mind
    no heart.

  12. Damian Robin

    From Tianjin First Central Hospital

    Whatever you say, no one will listen.
    Whatever the evidence—does not count.
    Away from the light, blood doesn’t glisten.
    No blood money here, not any amount.

    We do access donors, but not so many.
    We do do transplants, but only a few.
    The facts you say matter are two a penny.
    Ours are so precious, we won’t show you.

  13. Paul

    Please don’t put do do in any poem
    I don’t mean to pooh pooh but you’re on your own
    If you think that you’ve just written poetry
    Do be do be do is for music you see

    • Damian Robin

      Thank you, Paul, for your slight derision.
      Here I install some minor revision:

      From Tianjin First Central Hospital

      Whatever you say, no body will listen.
      What evidence you hold, just doesn’t count.
      Away from the light, the blood doesn’t glisten.
      No blood money here, not any amount.

      We do schedule transplants—not very many.
      We do process donors—only a few.
      The facts you have gathered cost two a penny
      Yet ours are so precious, we won’t show you.

  14. Millicent Simmonds

    a very barbaric image, I think people need to reflect on this issue, prisoners organs increasingly popular, how many prisoners they took away, I will cite a number of films for you see

    • Damian Robin

      Thanks, Millicent. You mention some films. They are film s about organ harvesting in China?


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