FIRST PLACE

The Virus and the Cure

by Rob Crisell

One hundred years of tyranny,
One hundred years of pain and lies.
If communists of China win,
The Chinese culture dies.

No virus spreads like wickedness.
No plague infects like bogus creeds.
No outbreak lasts a century,
Nor’s worse than evil deeds.

A virus pierces China’s heart;
It kills the Wheel, it kills the Tao.
A toxin made in Marx’s mind,
And weaponized by Mao.

Three decades past, there was a chance—
A peaceful group came into view.
With truth, compassion, self-control,
It made the old ways new.

It offered hope through ancient thought.
It practiced wisdom, love, and Qi,
Exposing communism’s lies
And negativity.

Departed ancestors gazed down
To see a hundred million strong.
Siddhartha smiled, Confucius bowed,
A new bloom—Falun Gong.

The virus, though, lives to destroy
All threats to its corrupting power.
It starved, abused, attacked the roots,
And tried to kill the flower.

O, people of the world, take heed!
A century is far too long.
We must confront this virus now.
It’s time to right this wrong.

One hundred years of tyranny,
One hundred years of pain and lies.
If communists of China win,
The Chinese culture dies.

Rob Crisell is a writer, actor, teacher, and attorney in Temecula, California. After two decades in publishing, national non-profit work, law, and commercial real estate, he’s now a full-time writer, actor, and educator. He is an outside instructor with the Murrieta Valley Union School District where he teaches poetry and Shakespeare. He also teaches at St. Jeanne de Lestonnac School and other area schools on behalf of Shakespeare in the Vines (SITV). He’s the author/actor of Red, White & Bard! A Celebration of Shakespeare in America and Hamlet’s Guide to Happiness: 7 Life Lessons from the Greatest Play Ever Written, one-man shows he has performed for SITV, schools, and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He’s a graduate of Yale University and George Mason University Law School. He lives in Temecula with his wife and their two children.

 

 

SECOND PLACE

The Odyssey of Sunny Guo

(a Falun Gong devotee persecuted by the CCP)

by Jeff Kemper

I foundered ere I found my freedom’s wings
And soared from confines of a Broad Expanse
To depths unknown within the heart of things
Where truth abides with love, and patience rings
The bell of freedom, while patrols advance.

Constabularies clipped the feathers clean
In midflight. And I fell to their assault,
Where sentinels and misanthropes convene,
And made my bed in confines dim and lean.
And then commenced a tortuous tumult:

Each eighteen seconds seemed like eighteen years
Of injury and pain inflicted by
The royal squad to agitate my fears;
Expatriate my faith, dispatched in tears;
And make me an obsequious ally.

For eighteen hours I sat in silence, still,
With hands on thighs and open eyes, sustained
A random pose for my aggressors’ thrill
As they resolved my spirit they should kill.
I know not how my sanity maintained.

For eighteen months I dined in deepest Hell
At the good pleasure of an unseen king.
The hellfire burning hot within my cell
Was tariff levied by the state-cartel
In the reformatories of Beijing.

For eighteen years within the Broad Expanse
The Serpent’s victims on the altar crawl
To be apportioned for the market dance—
A harvest crop for medical advance.
I barely dodged this lethal protocol!

In my own home militias marshaled harm,
Attacked, and brutalized my pious peers
Whose Sino-Serpent they refused to charm.
I’ll bang the gong and bellow the alarm
Until that Snake forever disappears.

For now I fly with newly feathered wings
And soar in confines of a Distant Land
Wherein all residents can reign as kings
Without a snake that strangles, strikes, and stings;
Where patience, truth, and love are never banned.

 

Jeffrey Kemper has been a research scientist, biology teacher, biblical studies instructor, editor, and painting contractor. He lives with his wife, Sue, in York County, Pennsylvania. He has been writing poetry off and on for about 50 years. He can be contacted at kemporiole@gmail.com.

 

 

THIRD PLACE

Full On and Still Going

by Raymond Gallucci

A movement for peace
And health to increase
Is twenty-year target of Chinese police.

The Communist state
Cannot tolerate
Belief to which citizens dare to relate.

Unless it’s aligned
As Party designed
To blindly conform to the Communist mind.

It’s really not new,
For Rome saw it too—
Inventing a threat from the Christians they slew.

The Catholics returned
The favor when burned
The Cathars and Templars, whom Vatican spurned.

Not only in past,
Just century last
The Nazis decided the Jews must be gassed.

It’s no mystery,
Throughout history
It’s fear of unknown that makes tyrants decree

A plan to erase,
Leave nary a trace
Of something they falsify as a disgrace.

Of all that they spout,
Should people find out
Brainwashing is what this has all been about.

So now Falun Gong
Has fallen among
The movements oppressors declare to be wrong.

So they persecute,
They torture, they loot
Its followers in genocidal pursuit

To bring to an end
This popular trend,
And into oblivion once for all send.

But history has shown
As far back as Rome
When try to eradicate movement, it’s grown

Until it’s become
Through much martyrdom
The victor to which its oppressors succumb.

 

Shoe Biz

by Raymond Gallucci

The striving for tranquility
With tolerance and honesty,
Compassionate philosophy,
Can thrive in a democracy.

But under rulers Communist,
A dictatorial abyss,
It’s swallowed by a toxic mist
Unyielding in oppressiveness.

Through torture, lies and even death
Has China choked the very breath.
A pogrom till there’s nothing left—
Its followers of hope bereft.

But still the movement carries on
Around the world—the Falun Gong
Lives even where it’s spat upon,
Adherents viewed as carrion.

While still alive, may organs lose,
Their corpses burned, expunging clues.
So easy China’s to abuse
Because we love their discount shoes!

 

Raymond Gallucci is a retired Professional Engineer who has been writing poetry since 1990.

 

 

FOURTH PLACE

Its One Mistake

by Peter Austin

Born in Northeast China, in ’92,
Falun Gong, within six years, had become
So widespread that the State began to view
It as a threat and, neath an iron thumb,

Moved to squash it. But it would not lie flat,
Despite a barrage of lies, depicting its
Sway as perfidious and (worse than that)
Likely to lead to addling of the wits

And even suicide…. In ’99
(Membership in the ten-millions by then
Of a movement altogether benign
Though, to the Party, a carcinogen),

A campaign was begun to stamp it out
Which crescendoed in Tiananmen Square
Two years later, and which settled all doubt
In the minds of everyone who was there

Or saw it on TVs across the nation
As to the perils posed by such a cult.
‘It’ was the putative self-immolation
Of five members, and in rapid result

Falun Gong’s traction slipped out of sight,
Despite the act’s exposure as a prank
In the West, where it quickly came to light
That one of the five was felled with the shank

Of a policeman’s gun and, furthermore,
One who survived (firetrucks happened to be
Oddly close at hand), and who bravely bore
An emergency tracheotomy,

Interviewed later was heard to quip
And sing! What do the Chinese leaders care
Of that, though? Thanks to blanket censorship,
What happens in the outside world stays there.

 

Peter Austin is a retired Professor of English who lives in Toronto with his younger two daughters.

 

See the complete list of winners and honorable mentions here.

 


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One Response

  1. Esther Bunny Brown

    Concerning the poem “Full On and Still Going”, why make references to the National Socialist regime, when King Karl’s democide of the Saxons could suffice?

    http://www.renegadetribune.com/?s=Charlemagne

    Or Dhaka’s ethnoreligious persecution of the folks native to the Chittagong Hill Tracts, like the Chakma people?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chakma_people

    Or Jakarta’s ethnoreligious exploitation of the Dayaks?

    https://www.unz.com/avltchek/in-indonesian-borneo-humiliate-native-people-then-look-their-land/

    Anyway, congratulations to Rob Crisell and others.

    Reply

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