People look on as others are beaten for non-compliance in Shanghai.A Poem on the Shanghai Lockdown: ‘Shhh…’ by Susan Jarvis Bryant The Society April 19, 2022 Culture, Human Rights in China, Poetry, Readings, Science 15 Comments . https://classicalpoets.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/1706-N-Virginia-St.m4a . 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. 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 email@example.com. 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. 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) 15 Responses Cynthia Erlandson April 19, 2022 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 April 20, 2022 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 Sally Cook April 19, 2022 Scary, Susan, scary~ Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant April 20, 2022 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 April 20, 2022 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. Margaret Coats April 19, 2022 Thanks, Susan, for showing what can happen anytime, with no notice, in a terrorist state. All are terrorized. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant April 20, 2022 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 Brian Yapko April 20, 2022 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 April 20, 2022 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 Joseph Salemi April 20, 2022 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 April 20, 2022 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 Cheryl Corey April 20, 2022 I like your phrasing, especially: “Locked up souls locked down”, “cherry blossom air”, and your closing couplet. Reply Susan Jarvis Bryant April 22, 2022 I appreciate your encouragement- thank you very much, Cheryl. Reply The Society April 23, 2022 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 April 25, 2022 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 Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.