Falun Gong practitioners march in Washington, DCWinners of the Friends of Falun Gong Poetry Contest Announced The Society May 13, 2021 Human Rights in China, Poetry, Poetry Contests 12 Comments . Congratulations to the winners! Readings of the top three winning poems have been published here: . FIRST PLACE Connected by Sasha Palmer I’m Russian-born, live in the USA,I’m Catholic, and Falun Gong to me—A chain of cryptic hieroglyphs that sayNothing of consequence; and yet I see—Beyond the mystery—a familiar sightAs crouching tigers, hidden dragons fadeAnd all that’s left is people, whom I mightHave known forever, closely; should I tradePlaces with them, would I remain steadfastIn my own faith? Would I refuse to bowBefore the human idols? Would I castMy fear aside? I do not know. Somehow__I know this: when another victim falls,__Don’t ask for whom the bell of freedom tolls. . . SECOND PLACE The Devil’s Definition by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Dragon’s claw is slick with rawest red From spoils that keep the greedy demons fed With hearts from souls caught by the Dragon’s eye Sold to a world that buys the Dragon’s lie— A world that twists the gist of honest words To hide the feasting beasts from senseless herds Who bleat the mangled mantra of reform Till genocide’s “a different cultural norm.” When brains are washed in propaganda’s guile Then backs are turned on tyrannies so vileThe slaughter of the Falun Gong’s dismissed As devils deal in crimes that don’t exist. So never let the Dragon normalize Barbaric acts all humans should despise—Massacre occurs when ears won’t hear The sin concealed in spin that’s insincere. . . THIRD PLACE The Broken Kingdom by Brian Yapko Dare to look at China through a glassUndarkly past the shining spires of steelWhich hide barbed wire. See the Party brassMake laws coercing people not to feel.See prisons sprout in sight of the Great WallAnd see the Yangtze clotted red with blood.Regard the bones on which each garish mallIs built—old virtues ground into the mud.Then see our Friends of Freedom robbed of breathTormented to insanity or death. Joyce described the sow that eats her young.Well, Party leaders also eat their own;They propagate the worst of Mao Tse TungDebasing freedom from a Marxist throne.This harsh totalitarian regimeWhich causes dissidents to disappearHas squandered China’s birthright with its schemeTo stamp out faith and hope with guns and fear.Smash the temples! Plant informants! Spy!Force men what to think. Then make them die. Karma guarantees the Party’s nooseMust one day strangle its own cold cabal. Every act of torture, each abuseWill bring it closer to its final fall. Leaders that crush freedom into sand,Who can’t persuade and therefore must enslaveMust soon be driven from this broken landWhere they’ve failed to break the good and brave.Inspired by the truth of wrong and right,Falun Gong shall surely win this fight! . . FOURTH PLACE West Looking East by Raz Bosoaga What does freedom mean to you?The right to live, to learn and to pursueA life of meaning and one of choiceFree to be you and have your voice.To practice faith or lack thereof,But to have that choice, to choose to loveOr to choose to live a life that’s ledBy a set of principles that spreadHonesty, benevolence, restraint.To be loving, to forgive and not to taintYour heart with evil, lies or hate.Falun Gong these rules createAimed to instill and to procureA life of peace and one that’s pure.How can such faith, such true love shown,Turn Chinese government on their own?We watch the news, here in the West,Countless Falun Gong oppressed,Countless stories never toldCountless victims, young and old.What principle means that they must face,Such persecution, such constant chase?People tortured; people dead.People arrested as in their headThey dared to believe in something moreDared to think it’s worth standing forHumanity, truth, freedom to believeTo choose one’s faith and to conceiveThat we’re all born pure, goodness innate.Such passive teachings attacked by state.The hammer swings, the sickle reaps,A harvest plentiful as a mother weeps.The crop of genocide laid bare,People massacred, butchered with little care“Re-educated,” tortured, organs sold—But there’s one thing the state can’t hold.That they can’t scare, slash nor silenceFalun Gong, for freedom, in defianceStand united, driven by belief from withinFreedom, love and peace will always win. . . NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. The Society of Classical Poets does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 12 Responses James Sale May 13, 2021 Congratulations all! Well done! Reply Sasha A. Palmer May 13, 2021 Thank you, and congratulations to Susan, Brian and Raz. Reply James Sale May 13, 2021 I shall be discussing and reading out your winning poem on the 23rd May, Sasha, and I am looking forward to it. Reply Sasha A. Palmer May 13, 2021 Thank you, James. Reply BRIAN YAPKO May 13, 2021 Congratulations, Sasha, Susan and Raz — it’s an honor and a privilege to be in your company! Reply Sally Cook May 13, 2021 Thank you all, winners, for your individual ways of approaching the awful stratification of thought and straitjacketing of spirit ongoing in the East. To Sasha, Susan, Brian and Raz, thank you each for the uniqueness of your response Reply Damian Robin May 13, 2021 Indeed, congratulations all of you. Strong, forward-moving statements, uplifting, rousing, encouraging. I hope many will read these and take note of their conviction of the ultimate demise of the CCP and ultimate rise of Falun Gong and the Righteous. Well done and thank you. Reply Damian Robin May 13, 2021 I guess I’m being partisan in the above comment. The poems are very different and nuanced and tell individual approaches to the global conflict whose epicenter is in China. Thanks again, Sasha, Susan, Brian, Raz. Reply Margaret Coats May 13, 2021 Four very intriguing poems of different style and viewpoint, all of them worthwhile reading for poetic skill and significant content. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to everyone who devoted time and talent to the contest. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant May 13, 2021 A huge CONGRATULATIONS! to Sasha, Brian and Raz. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your unique poems and I’m honored and humbled to have my poem printed alongside you all. Thank you too for the wonderful words of congratulations and encouragement from the commenters. I’m thrilled! Reply Yael May 13, 2021 All winning entries are a pleasure to read. First place is most impressive and really drives home to me the significance and tragedy of the persecution of peaceful citizens in search of self improvement. Reply Paul Freeman May 14, 2021 Congratulations, winners. A very timely topic. 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