The above images are from the pro-democracy protests going on right now in Hong Kong, as the populace peacefully resists communist-controlled authorities. Today, there are no free elections in Hong Kong and the region’s chief executive is appointed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Beijing. The image on the left is a protest poster being used and the image on the right apparently shows a protester dead or near death after police violence, as can be seen in a recent video here. Write a poem on one or both images and post it in the comments section below.




NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets.

NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here.


14 Responses

  1. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” ~ Ronald Reagan

    “Go, Hong Kong! Go!”
    ~ Susan Jarvis Bryant

    Loose Lips

    Let each and every voice be free
    to sing in silken reverie
    to soar with creativity
    to spit its ire and devilry –
    to speak.

    Let each and every voice be free
    to flirt with nonconformity
    to blurt its eccentricity
    to spurt its blue hilarity –
    to shriek.

    Let each and every voice be free
    to pray in hushed humility
    to bray in boastful revelry
    to weigh both truth and treachery –
    to seek.

    Let each and every voice be free
    to decry wily piety
    that tethers tongues alleged to be
    the absolute epitome
    of hate.

    Let each and every voice be free
    to synchronize in harmony
    to gladden you and sadden me
    before a life of misery’s
    our fate.

    Let each and every voice be free
    to grumble with impunity
    to spill the spiel that’s non-PC
    before the chance of liberty’s
    too late!

  2. Mike Bryant

    You have cut to the essence of what freedom is all about. So apt and so beautifully written, of course.

  3. Joseph S. Salemi

    I blame the Brits. In ’97
    Hong Kong was a bit of heaven.
    Prosperity and freedom reigned —
    Speech was never kept restrained.
    The people were at peace. What’s more,
    They hoped that, just like Singapore,
    They might become a full-fledged state
    To save them from the horrid fate
    Of being grabbed by Commie claws
    And living under leftist laws.
    But our British friends finked out.
    They didn’t have the guts or clout
    To tell the Commies to piss off.
    All they did was hem and cough
    And dither in vague indecisions.
    They should have sent a few divisions
    Of crack troops, plus a naval fleet
    And told Beijing “We won’t retreat —
    We owe it to the people here
    Who cherish freedom. Is that clear?”

    Instead, the British lion mewed.
    And folks in Hong Kong now are screwed.

    (My apologies to James Sale. Nothing personal is meant.)

    • James Sale

      No offence is taken, Joe: every country has its moments of glory, and then sadly falls into a torpor which represents its decline. I am sincerely hoping that in this forthcoming General Election in the UK that Boris Johnson can win a substantial majority; that we can actually exit the EU; that we can start reversing the socialism/communism that has been enervating the country for so long; and thereby we can become a great country once more.

  4. D Robin


    The young who stretch across the karmic past
    Are ransacked like they’re dander or massed fleas,
    For dogs of war have trashed their home and cast
    A law that barks: “We will do as we please.

    “We’ll kneel your faces into floors for cars;
    We’ll smash you, grab you, press down human skin
    To grate on asphalt surfaces for scars;
    And yes, our batons will break bones within,

    “And yes, our rubber bullets bruise and stain,
    Our smoke bombs burn, our fear thumps on your door;
    And yes, we’re on a leash, but we give pain;
    Our claws rip through your clothing leaving gore;

    “And yes, our ammunition we contain
    As guns go off and leave you on the floor;
    We do not shoot to kill but shoot to gain
    Big footholds in the propaganda war.”

    The clear world knows this is not civil war.
    This is not brother’s brothers, sister’s sisters,
    Gangs of rich on rich or poor on poor.
    This is mainland China’s import twisters,

    ID-less battlers spun as local cops
    Or in disguise as protesters in vests.
    It’s less in-fighting than masked mainland drops
    Of communists trained hard to make arrests.

  5. Mark F. Stone


    To guarantee we don’t become
    a tyrannocracy,
    we must maintain the right to arms,
    the font of liberty.

    • Joseph S. Salemi

      Mark, for that I’ll give a cheer —
      But don’t say it at Eratosphere.

  6. D Robin

    There is a song “The Revolution will not be Televised”. This is from the 1970s when tv cameras were big and clucky. Luckily for the HK protesters nearly every citizen is a reporter with a mobile phones poised to upload videos to the internet, and many with PRESS protection with ready outlets.

    Keep Shooting

    The P.L.A. manoeuvres threats close by,
    Shadow boxing in the public eye.
    Across the river – Hope behind a mask,
    Tear bombs muffled in a metal flask*.

    Dark Party poison oils your Hong Kong home:
    Sin’s molasses squeezed through honeycomb.
    They want your infrastructure swamped by clans
    Not democracy’s cool-headed fans.

    They’d strap your water flow and gag your throat;
    They’d make ‘The China Sea’ their castle moat;
    They’d drain you dry, they’d dam your food supply –
    If only friends with lenses weren’t close by.

    Automaton police in bulbous clothes,
    Bludgeon truncheons up through Hong Kong’s nose.
    Umbrellas liquidate the lethal dose
    For there are friends with lenses standing close.


  7. D Robin

    HK’s Young Police and Protesters

    For years they had treasures in common,

    Their youth and shared future, their sky.

    Then enter the inhuman dragon

    To claim its red stakes, do or die.

    • D Robin

      “Enter the Dragon” was martial artist Bruce Lee’s last film. He died, aged 32, soon after completing his role.

      In the film he is a martial arts master from Hong Kong who is persuaded by a British intelligence agent to go to an island to help uncover large scale drug trafficking and prostitution.

      At the end of the film prisoners are released to take part in a major battle and the authentic military come in to firm up the restored order.

      Though the film was made in Hong Kong, there’s slim chance of that ending today. No liberation from from HK’s previous protectors, the British (as mentioned above by J Salemi); nor the U.S., the erstwhile unofficial World Police; nor NATO and the E.U. who could intervene in the same way that Britain or the U.S, or any nation concerned with human suffering and justice could; nor any U.N. Peace Keeping Force.

      Real life, films, and principles occupy different parts of the world.

      But might it be prophetic that Lee breaks the neck of Jackie Chan, playing a guard for the traffickers, in the movie? Jackie Chan is prominent with the CCP and not popular in HK. He has criticised the umbrella movement and the present protests

      • Gerard Traub

        This poem is dedicated to all of the good people of Hong Kong and their struggle for freedom amidst the storm of Beijing’s decades of oppression and brutality of its own citizens. May their extraordinary courage never waver!

        Upon A Butterfly’s Dream

        Upon a butterfly’s dream
        rising against the storm
        never a wavering wing
        or fluster of colour
        as waters breathe quiet
        under rage of air
        beckoned to its journey
        where new worlds discovered.

        By witness of sun
        and countless stars
        greeting every dawn
        and darkest sky
        upon a butterfly’s courage
        rising against the storm
        the promise from pupa
        awakening to the prize.

  8. D Robin





    Sleepless Night
    by Xi Yuan
    translated by Jennifer Zeng and Damian Robin

    Lion Rock is burning. Hong Kong’s night-whipped shadows cannot hide 
    One breaking gunshot shocking heaven, twenty years of dream destroyed. 
    The half moon’s sharp, think arrows/knives. Let’s slay the demons of the void!
    Born in chaos, hard to rest, hearts churn through sleepless, nighttime tide.


    1: On August 25th, the Hong Kong police fired the first live round at the protesters since the “anti-extradition bill” protests started in June. The police also displayed water cannon and armored vehicle for the first time.

    2 : Many people have harbored illusions for the “One Country, Two System” system for more than 20 years since Hong Kong was taken back by the Communist regime. However, during the “anti-extradition bill” protests, people have been totally awakened from that illusion, and realized that the so-call”returning to motherland” is more like occupation by the enemy.

    Link to poems on White Cloud Poetry Society (WCPS)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.