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Liu Xiaobo memorials in water: a Poem

I wrote this upon the death of Chinese freedom activist Liu Xiaobo and the commemorations in his memory by fellow activists which involve water. It’s a beautiful, apt statement they make. Poem is called: The wave which wouldn’t break.


The wave which wouldn’t break

that’s meant to wash the Power away

Which torched the activist’s body then dispersed his ashes over water

To stop him becoming an emblem,

has turned the oceans of the world against itself instead.


And now keeps watch for the rising tide of history

And the guy who’s gone from a cell bed to literally everywhere.

Today officials dream of a flood and go rushing to therapists through streets where water laps at their feet.


People power – a force of nature is coming, or not.

It is contained by a dam;

The People’s Republic of China dam

And has been for a long time.

Where will the great wave go to

Which would wash away the Power

And lift the world a little higher up?


The dam stands strong.


Let this wave not forever be

The only wave which didn’t break

in history.