I’m Not Too Keen On China Nowadays

I’m not too keen on China nowadays:
The moves they’ve made against Taiwan of late;
The way they treat their citizens, negate
Their freedoms, torture, torment, subjugate;

And heaven help the soul who kneels and prays!
The tactics used are such that all are cowed,
As fear of retribution casts its cloud,
Since Xi Jinping’s the only god allowed.

I’m more a fan of China’s olden days
Of tea and silks, of Chinese brush and ink,
And how the old philosophers made you think;
But now the CCP is on the brink

Of making war—their lust for power obscene.
Suffice to say that no, I’m not too keen.



The Master Plan

The CCP devised a master plan
To eradicate the Uyghur Muslim clan
By using artificial intelligence,
The police, and spies for maximum surveillance.

Their features and their retinas are scanned;
Their language, books, and history are banned;
The mosque, the shrine—all completely razed—
Only what is Han is to be praised.

They sample blood and hair for DNA,
Observe their movements—the way they walk, the way
They talk, recording each and every voice.
When faced with prison and torture, what’s the choice?



Cheryl Corey is a Connecticut poet. She is also an author of short stories, a novella, and recently completed a novel. 

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4 Responses

  1. Paul Freeman

    Thanks for highlighting the Uyghurs’ plight and for your overview of modern day China, a poem with an extraordinary and effective rhyme scheme.

    The BBC made a chilling short documentary of what China describes today as its ‘Schools of Transformation’ a few years back, before the camps really hit the news and news access became almost totally restricted.


    Unfortunately, what’s in the documentary is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Thanks again for your poignant pieces, Cheryl.

    • Cheryl Corey

      I watched the clip, Paul, and noticed that it was mostly young people being subjected to massive indoctrination. The thinking used to be that if we opened up to China, that they would become more like us. Instead, Western societies are becoming more like them! And with the development of advanced IT, it’s getting worse. The last thing China wants is diversity.

  2. Margaret Coats

    “Not Too Keen” is a clever fit of conversational parlance to sonnet form. There is a pleasant breathing space at the classic turn in line 9, but the rhymes, in an unusual scheme, quickly lead back to the starting point. The apparent drift of the speaker’s thought also inserts important points elsewhere, as in “heaven help the soul.” Seriously good work in a casual tone!

  3. Norma Pain

    I appreciated both of these poems Cheryl, especially the lines, “I’m more a fan of China’s olden days, Of tea and silks, of Chinese brush and ink”, sadly long-lost now. Thank you Cheryl.


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