poems, mostly metrical, and rants and raves on poets, poetry, and the po-biz (with 8-string stuff)
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June 4, 1989

Students came to Tiananmen Square
To mourn the death of Hu Yaobang,
And call the old men to repair
The State they’d led to wrong.
Workers joined the student throng
And made the Square the people’s place –
Thousands and tens of thousands strong,
They gave Liberty a Chinese face.

From the Great Hall of the People glared
Faces from the revolution, hung
There to silence those who dared
To charge the State with wrong.
But now the torch of freedom shone
From the statue of a woman raised
Before them — the people’s challenge flung,
Giving Liberty a Chinese face.

Deng Xiaoping and Li Peng stared
As one man, unarmed and alone,
Despite the armored terror
Of the State’s insane wrong,
Stopped a column of tanks along
The Avenue of Eternal Peace.
He simply stood his ground,
And gave Liberty a Chinese face.

Remember the thousands dead and mourn.
Remember the State’s deadly wrong.
Martyr’s blood is never erased –
They gave Liberty a Chinese face.

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3 comments

1 mandorichard { 06.04.09 at 12:16 pm }

“Gave Liberty a Chinese Face.”

Good turn of phrase!

2 Mary Alexandra Agner { 06.04.09 at 12:49 pm }

Mike, this is gorgeous. Thank you so much for posting it. I wish I knew of someplace you could send it for wider distribution, it deserves it.

3 Mike { 06.04.09 at 1:56 pm }

Thank you, Mary, and thank you, mandorichard.

I wrote this 20 years ago and have never found a publisher, so I decided today to spread it as far over the net as I can.

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