Tooth and Claw

a pantoum

by Susan Jarvis Bryant

Observe the tooth and claw of savage deed.
Beware the ferric breath of looming dread.
Don’t let the taunt of terror sow its seed—
The heartless reap a harvest seeping red.

Beware the ferric breath of looming dread
On ill winds wafting from a shady shore.
The heartless reap a harvest seeping red—
The truth is leaking neath the Dragon’s door.

On ill winds wafting from a shady shore
Ghosts whisper of the fate of Falun Gong.
The truth is leaking neath the Dragon’s door
To ring from every bold and golden tongue.

Ghosts whisper of the fate of Falun Gong
In pleas that rise in prayers for those in pain
To ring from every bold and golden tongue,
To tell of horror’s fierce and hellish reign.

In pleas that rise in prayers for those in pain
Let’s speak for brave hearts robbed of song and sound.
Let’s tell of horror’s fierce and hellish reign.
Let’s stand for meek souls beaten to the ground.

Let’s speak for brave hearts robbed of song and sound.
Don’t let the taunt of terror sow its seed.
Let’s stand for meek souls beaten to the ground—
Observe the tooth and claw of savage deed.


A Reading of Susan Jarvis Bryant’s winning poem in this episode of Classical Poets Live:





The Gentle Ones

(for Falun Gong victims of CCP torture)

and. . . those that followed their doctrines
met with hatred and were killed

—Justin Martyr, about the Stoics

by Monika Cooper

The gentle ones are not always the tame.
The tyrants fear truth tellers most of all:
A movement they can’t understand, a name
Unknown to them or theirs the people call.
We know the Stoics, men of discipline
And calm, who met with hatred and were killed.
When hate meets virtue, which of them will win?
When flowing movement, meaningful, is stilled,
Arrested, bent into a wrenching pose
Designed by enemies to double pain,
Your limbs not free to hold the wheel, compose
Your soul into the lines you learned again.
Recall the poems. Say, deep within, the name.
The gentle ones will never be the tame.




Bad China

by James A. Tweedie

On Christmas and Thanksgiving, the good China’s what we use.
It makes the food taste better, whether turkey, ham or stews.
All other times the ordinary China’s “good to go,”
It’s sturdy and reliable, more “practical” than “show.”

But hidden in the cupboard, back behind our plastic ware,
We bury the bad China that we don’t trust anywhere.
For though its surface looks just fine and dandy to the eye
Its glaze had lead and other stuff that could cause folks to die.

And underneath each plate is stamped a question in red ink:
“This dish was made by Falun Gong and Uighurs, don’t you think?”
It also says it’s “Made in China” in a workcamp jail.
The red ink’s from the blood of folks they won’t let out on bail.

Bad China chips quite easily, with edges that are sharp
Enough to excise and transplant a person’s lungs and heart.
The pattern on each plate seems fine and elegant as well—
A pattern swiped from someone else’s copyright, do tell!

And so, we eat and drink our fill and go our merry way,
While with our blinkered eyes we blindly live from day to day.
And on and on and on we go through life without a care,
As long as we pretend that our bad China isn’t there.





The Real Cost

a villanelle

by Joshua C. Frank

We close our eyes to China’s Holocaust
And funnel money to their torture stations
Because we like to buy at lower cost.

Good Falun Gong practitioners are tossed
To killing floors by Chinese regulations—
We close our eyes to China’s Holocaust.

We look past slaughter with our hearts of frost,
Comparing price in icy calculations,
Because we like to buy at lower cost.

While we, on “made in China” phones, accost
With slogans backing brown-skinned populations,
We close our eyes to China’s Holocaust.

To buy cheap, blood-stained goods from them, we’ve glossed
Over screams and dying lamentations
Because we like to buy at lower cost.

The cause of life, is that forever lost?
The Dragon’s fire is fueled by richer nations—
We close our eyes to China’s Holocaust
Because we like to buy at lower cost.




Read the Honorable Mention poems
on the Friends of Falun Gong website here.


“In a School of Transformation” by Paul A. Freeman

“A Continent Away” by Cheryl Corey

“I Must Condemn the CCP!” by Roy E. Peterson

“Falun Gong’s Plight” by Ofilwe Maloiso

“Falun Gong” by Kevin MacAlan



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 commentary.

CODEC Stories:

14 Responses

  1. ABB

    A lot of great poems here in the name of a good cause.

    Congrats to Susan—another feather in your cap!

  2. Norma Pain

    Amazing poetry for a very good cause. Congratulations on your win Susan.

  3. Margaret Coats

    Congratulations to all for your beautifully effective writing, and for the special effort you made to produce it, in honor of those pictured above and for all who are still suffering.

  4. Joseph S. Salemi

    All the winners have produced excellent work, and each poem zeros in on the horrible persecution of Falun Gong, and the unmitigated evil of the Chinese Communist Party. Since coming to power, the CCP has murdered more persons through starvation, forced labor, executions, and concentration-camp confinement than the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany combined.

  5. Paddy Raghunathan

    Congrats to all winners! Also, an honorable mention to everyone who participated.



  6. Joshua C. Frank

    Congratulations to all winners and honorable mentions, especially Susan!

  7. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    I am over the moon! Thank you for all the kind comments. My congratulations to all the winners and honorable mentions – it is a real privilege to be among you in a competition that draws attention to pure evil so readily swept under the carpet in the interest of politics. The truth matters.

  8. Monika Cooper

    Congratulations, Susan and all. I pray justice and liberty for Falun Gong practitioners and all Chinese people. End the CCP!


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