18th April 2000
They dragged him from his concrete cell
to an evil place of pain
where they cuffed his hands behind him
and then hooked them to a chain.
They hauled him to the ceiling
as his shoulder joints gave way,
then plied him with electrodes
laughing, "Now, let's see you pray."
But as they beat and tortured him
and did their fearful worst
he prayed for them a Buddhist prayer
and neither swore nor cursed.
Compassion, truth, forbearance
were the essence of his creed,
and yet he was imprisoned
as though for a criminal deed,
a criminal deed to hold a faith
Beijing declares is wrong,
a crime to follow faithfully
the path of Falun Gong.
In labour camp, he would not eat
in protest to defy
a regime which imprisoned him
because he would not deny,
nor yet betray the Falun Gong
nor lie to save his skin
but went on hunger strike instead-
true to his faith within.
They dragged him out and strapped him down,
and down his throat they pushed
a tube which tore right through his throat
and left his larynx crushed
and tore his lungs while they force-fed
him with the prison food,
and into his lungs instead of air
went turgid soup and blood.
He did not die a sudden death
despite this mortal blow
the wounds inside him festered
and his death was long and slow.
In the liberal west, we should protest
against this, unafraid,
but sad to relate, our heads of state
would rather talk of trade.
In the liberal west we can protest,
and dream our peaceful dreams
for our days don't start with torture
and our nights don't end with screams.
Our faith is rarely tested
by torturers with whips,
and the words we say in protest
aren't beaten from our lips.
Our shame is keeping silent
while the cruelty goes on,
that kills Tibetan Buddhists,
and the peaceful Falun Gong,
that kills Tibetan children
who sing a freedom song,
and Xinjiang's Uighur Muslims
and all who won't repent -
in the face of Beijing's evil rule
- their brave deeds of dissent.
In labour camp, in Jining town,
Liu Xuguo died in pain,
so we must all speak up for him
so his death was not in vain,
and just because we live in freedom
we can not do less
than plead for all the people
that Beijing would suppress.