Mother of Falun Gong

They said my mother would be back tomorrow,
They said her smile would still shine proudly here,
Her hand brush off the dreadful, bitter sorrow
That manifests itself within a tear,
But twenty years had faded like wan mists
That glide and winnow on a brackish lake
And yet, her awful absence still persists
And strives and strains to make my small heart break.

Where is she? She is gone, dear, precious heart,
And gone as well the heart she used to own,
The heart that throbbed, the heart that took a part
In you and warmed you when you felt alone
The heart, your mother’s once, found beating now
Within a stranger’s breast, but where is she?
Where is your mother? Where that empty vow
Of her return? It all rings hopelessly.

No more those dreams, wake up! No more those visions.
Dead lies your mother, flickered out her life
One pure belief, a thousand deep incisions,
The workings of a government’s cold knife
They killed her, knocked her dead, wormed through her skin,
They let her seething blood spill like your tear,
Killed in a world in which no one may win
But suffer for the values they hold dear.



Like dandelions that ride the mellow breeze
And float down to another world and place
The dancers pirouetted with such grace
And with such passion and undaunted ease,
I, for a second, thought all time to cease
While there, they twirled with ribbon and with lace,
With nimbleness, tucked at a happy pace
Like dashing waves upon calm summer seas.
Their smiles like streaks of sun that lace the hills,
Their prideful eyes like stars so far away,
They sway like gentle, wind-blown daffodils
That streak the hills and valleys in proud May.
Time freezes and my heartbeats drop, all stills
Except that godly, wonderful ballet.


Gleb Zavlanov is a young poet and songwriter living in New York City. He is a 2017 graduate of Townsend Harris High School. His YouTube channel can be found here.


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4 Responses

  1. E. V.

    Excellent! In another’s body, a harvested heart beats for a limited time, but through the poet, the voices of tyranny’s victims eternally resonate. Attacks against Freedom of Speech are really attacks against Freedom of Thought. We must NEVER! let that happen here in America.

    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Hi! Thank you for reading. I’m glad you enjoyed. And you’re definitely right, freedom is extremely valuable and a right we must all do our very best to defend.

  2. C.B. Anderson

    Nice work, Gleb, but pay attention to your commas (or lack thereof) and anchor your dependent clauses to firm antecedents (especially in “Ballet”).

    • Gleb Zavlanov

      Thank you for reading. Grammar is important so I’ll definitely work on that.


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