.

.

Shhh…

Shanghai trembles at the edge of hell
As horror wafts and weaves its way through streets.
The moon melts in the flare of terror’s yell—
Hot howls of raw despair till morning greets
Locked up souls locked down for safety’s sake
As Satan prowls for hearts he burns to break.

He gulps the tears the hopeless start to weep
As faith gives way to panic’s rise and rush.
He feasts on fear before the last-straw leap
From ledges to a fatal concrete crush.
The dreams that danced in cherry blossom air
Are caged then dashed because the experts care.

Cruel ghouls amass to grab and bludgeon pets.
The ruthless rip stunned children from warm homes.
Those imposing rules have no regrets—
They’ll tread the wicked track the devil roams,
While we sit back in muzzled, mute compliance
Embracing heartless, soulless, godless “science”.

.

.

Susan Jarvis Bryant has poetry published on Lighten Up Online, Snakeskin, Light, Sparks of Calliope, and Expansive Poetry Online. She also has poetry published in TRINACRIA, Beth Houston’s Extreme Formal Poems anthology, and in Openings (anthologies of poems by Open University Poets in the UK). Susan is the winner of the 2020 International SCP Poetry Competition, and has been nominated for the 2022 Pushcart Prize.


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15 Responses

  1. Cynthia Erlandson

    What a poignant way to express this demonic horror, Susan. And the last couplet is the perfect ending — If only we had just said NO!

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Thank you, Cynthia. I’m with you on the NO! front. It is strange to me that it’s been proven masks, vaccines, and lockdowns are ineffective and/or detrimental to mental and physical health and the economy, yet people are still eager to follow orders. I just hope we learned our lesson the first-time round. I’m sure it’s going to happen again.

      Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Very, Sally… and oh so sad. This doesn’t seem to be getting as much news coverage as it deserves… I wonder why?

      Reply
      • Margaret Coats

        And news coverage focuses on large economic issues rather than personal situations. Remember Solzhenitsyn describing how Soviet prisoners did not get minimal food rations required by law? Nearly everyone in a city of 25 million now gets even less.

  2. Margaret Coats

    Thanks, Susan, for showing what can happen anytime, with no notice, in a terrorist state. All are terrorized.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      You’re absolutely right, Margaret – thank you. I think many have a feeling of foreboding and don’t feel safe in their own countries right now. The treatment of the people by their governments over the last couple of years has been no less than evil.

      Reply
  3. Brian Yapko

    Susan, I can’t even comment on the excellent prosody because the message is so overwhelming. The cruelty of the Chinese government is bone-chillingly despicable. You say everything that needs to be said. You attribute our muzzled compliance to “heartless, soulless, godless ‘science’” — although I would point out that the abuse of science to manipulate people is equally true on both sides of the Pacific. Earlier your poem references Satan prowling “for hearts he burns to break.” This also seems chilling but accurate. It’s interesting that you make no direct reference to the Chinese government but skip directly to the devil who is the evil’s source. The entire foundation of your poem is that this is entirely Satan’s gig. What we’re left with is Science-Divorced-From-Humanity as an instrument of the Devil. Each one is using the other and there is neither life nor love in either. Only evil. Thank you, Susan, for continuing to write poetry which shines a spotlight on important issues, for helping to provide moral clarity. It’s a real gift.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Brian, thank you very much for this. Your analyses never fail to impress me. I believe the new global governance is heading the way of China. I don’t believe people can see a significant difference between political parties. I believe people have little faith in the validity of their vote for many reasons. I believe we’re being propagandized daily. To my mind all of this is evil, and many countries are taking part and supporting other countries in doing so. The CCP is only able to get away with all it does because the Western world enables it. I think the world is collectively evil at present by design. I thought focusing on Satan would be more powerful and lay blame at our doorstep too. Brian, I thank you for your continued support and the part you play in poetically highlighting the injustices of this day and age.

      Reply
  4. Joseph Salemi

    What is happening in Shanghai is precisely what left-liberals here in the West would LOVE to do with the general population. The fact that they don’t have the sort of power that the Communists have is what makes them seethe with anger and truculence against the un-vaxxed and the skeptical.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      Joe, thank you. I agree with you. I believe there are many out there who are seething with anger at anyone who isn’t following their draconian government down the prescribed road to ruin. The horrific thing is, it isn’t just one party… it’s all of them. The Prime Minister of the UK lied. Boris Johnson is as far removed from conservatism as Jeremy Corbyn was. No one knows where they stand now with their vote. If the vote is still valid… is the politician we’re voting for honest, or are they all paid off shills who have sold their morals to the devil? I haven’t lost hope… I’m still trying to work that one out. I wonder if I’m a little too optimistic… I hope not.

      Reply
  5. Cheryl Corey

    I like your phrasing, especially: “Locked up souls locked down”, “cherry blossom air”, and your closing couplet.

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      I appreciate your encouragement- thank you very much, Cheryl.

      Reply
  6. The Society

    Thank you for your poem, Susan. I’m sure many of the people of Shanghai would thank you too if they could. This video The Voice of April went viral in Shanghai on April 22nd. It included both the positive and negative lives of Shanghai citizens over the past month. However, it was quickly banned from all media platforms in mainland China.

    Evan

    Reply
    • Susan Jarvis Bryant

      You are most welcome and thank you for this, Evan… the world should hear the plight of the souls of Shanghai… everyone needs to see just how much our ever-waning freedom means.

      Reply

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