A Riot Limerick

by Joe Tessitore

The Most Evil has cast the first brick
And his antics make decent folk sick.
Though he rant and he rail
His best efforts all fail—
He’s in fact the Most Impotent Prick.


To the Hong Kong Police

by Damian Robin

Outstanding. Where do you go now?
___You’ve draped your bloody garments
On glassy views from Ap Lei Chau
___and tear-gashed eyes of students.

Now pose for Vogue in grey and black,
___accessorise tomorrow.
With Party pushers at your back,
___dissolve in virus shadow.

Protesters walk in skimpy gear,
___are standing proud for basics.
Not rioters, they’ve made that clear
___with life-affirming tactics.

You don’t have many wounds to lick.
___You’re bought the best protection
Against the tee-shirt crowds you kick
___but not COVID infection.

You’ve lost your popularity,
___all sense of what is decent.
Your move to immorality
___was reckless, rank, and recent.

You were good once but turned with time,
___submerged in mainland power.
You’ve sprayed Hong Kong with sin and crime,
___the Party’s acid shower.

Before you pose in black and grey
___in numbers on the increase,
Look to the Fa (or ancient Way)
___or you’ll become a sheep’s fleece,

Your hair torn from your homeland’s source
___the scalp of Party scalpels,
Poor simulacra of dead force
___in death mask smiles of numb-skulls.

You’ll soon be swamped with mainland men
___who’ll take an HK office.
You’ll still be wanted now and then
___but they’ll control each crisis.

You stand out now but where to now?
___Your garb will turn to remnants
On minds passed Mong Kok and Macau,
___on human life’s adherents,

On all the world, both young and old,
___alive or yet to feature.
This Hong Kong story will be told
___though you still lose your future.


Ap Lei Chau: A residential island that this part of Hong Kong

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2 Responses

  1. Margaret Coats

    Joe, bravo for the limerick. The initial couplet is so very good in itself–but carrying it further into the lighter limerick rhythm helps relieve tension, which is something everyone needs.

    Damian, you have some fine lines on both the protesters and the police. “Not rioters, they’ve made that clear/With life-affirming tactics.” “You’ve sprayed Hong Kong with sin and crime/The Party’s acid shower.” Your technique allowing imperfect rhyme in lines 2 and 4 of some stanzas is one that I find acceptable, although it approaches slapstick and makes the tone of the poem less serious. However, that suits your overall point about the Hong Kong police.

  2. Damian Robin

    Thanks, Margaret The wide sentiment in Joe’s true ‘poem’ can be applied to so many boils of life at present – the US, as I think it’s aimed at, Hong Kong, the CCP virus that is causing a lot of civilian aggression, the Xinjiang ‘rehabilitation’ camps and the resistance to them by Uyghurs, Cossacks, and other ethnic groups near Kazakhstan, and, getting more esoteric, the live organ harvesting in China with its refrigeration transport boxes like big bricks building up a lurid economy. There is space for a (sick) competition for the longest list of Evil’s civil repression and other Devil battles this poem can be applied to.

    And thanks for being gracious about the rhymes in my piece.


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