. Sonnet II: Liu Xitong Liu Xitong (pronounced Leo She-tong) recently spoke on Capitol Hill about the persecution he faced in communist China for his practice of Falun Gong. Read about the event and his story here. They strip him down, but cannot strip his soul. They splash on salty water tasting of The bitterness of years of state control, But cannot ruin sweetness from above. They scrape away the flesh upon his back And let the salt work stinging misery, But what they scrape away with their attack Reveals a flesh that knows no atrophy. They poke his fingers and his toes with needles, Pour burning liquid on his genitals And poison down his throat; such endless evils Try but fail to make sure goodness stalls. Though they can stop his hand's calligraphy, His life has writ in blood: “Set China free.” . . Sonnet III: Richard Sternberg Mr. Sternberg is an evolutionary biologist who was fired from the Smithsonian after okaying the publishing of a peer-reviewed paper that mentioned intelligent design. Read his comments here. Watch a documentary featuring him here. Between the swirling motifs of the mollusk shell, And codes of nano-data stored to plan its shape, He sees intelligence that from a mind would swell And truths that Darwin’s startless story can’t escape. Without escape, the scientists instead attacked By using politics infused with Marx’s specter Against the clearer thinker, who was quickly sacked And wrongly labeled a religious benefactor. Within the path that tries reducing organisms To lower, dead, component parts and nothing more, A science unafraid that complex mechanisms Show signs of complex thought, gets slapped down to the floor. How does from almost nothing grow those splendid shells? Look up, not down! In other planes the answer dwells. . . Autumn Trees after Edger Allan Poe's "Bells" See the passing forest trees— Autumn trees! How the garments of the year fall gently to their knees; How they tumble, tumble, tumble In the brilliant light of day Midst the forest stream’s soft mumble, Cloudless sky that has no rumble Under Heaven’s mighty sway. Shedding leaves, leaves, leaves, How sublimely nature grieves! What a lilting lamentation sung from lofty sylvan eaves: When from trees’ eaves leaves leave, We perceive Our own humbling in the crumbling of these trees. . . A Portrait of My Father He is juggling the eggs and the sausages too; He is guzzling his coffee, the finest of brew; He is flipping a flapjack quite effortlessly; He is Breakfast Man fighting to feed the hungry. He is riding his car to the airport midst rains; He is waiting and waiting but never complains; He is smiling and waving to us when we land; He’s our Captain who steers with the steadiest hand. He’s a sage who plants sage and tomatoes and chives; He is seeding the seedlings so each one survives; He’s a traveler trekking to lands far and wide; He’s a tinker and thinker, a hermit who’ll hide; He is most of all best of all Father of Men, Thus we rise and give honor to what he has been. . . Evan Mantyk is President of the Society and teaches English literature and history in the Hudson Valley region of New York.