Brian Yapko, ‘The Broken Kingdom’ – 3rd Place Award

The Broken Kingdom

by Brian Yapko

Dare to look at China through a glass
Undarkly past the shining spires of steel
Which hide barbed wire. See the Party brass
Make laws coercing people not to feel.
See prisons sprout in sight of the Great Wall
And see the Yangtze clotted red with blood.
Regard the bones on which each garish mall
Is built—old virtues ground into the mud.
Then see our Friends of Freedom robbed of breath
Tormented 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 Tung
Debasing freedom from a Marxist throne.
This harsh totalitarian regime
Which causes dissidents to disappear
Has squandered China’s birthright with its scheme
To 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 noose
Must one day strangle its own cold cabal.
Every act of torture, each abuse
Will bring it closer to its final fall.
Leaders that crush freedom into sand,
Who can’t persuade and therefore must enslave
Must soon be driven from this broken land
Where they’ve failed to break the good and brave.
Inspired by the truth of wrong and right
Falun Gong shall surely win this fight!

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Winner of the 3rd Place Award in FoFG’s 2021 Poetry Contest

Brian Yapko is a lawyer who also writes poetry. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.