The Outstretched Hand and Other Consolations of Poetry

My essay “The Outstretched Hand and Other Consolations of Poetry” that was first published in The Coronavirus Collective (Last Life Ever : 2020) was reprinted by the national newspaper Epoch Times. You can read the article here.

‘A Tale from ‘The Decameron,’” 1916, by John William Waterhouse. Lady Lever Art Gallery, National Museums, Liverpool. (Public Domain)

My Essay is Featured in a New Book: “Coronavirus Collective”

An essay I wrote on the “consolations of poetry” during the quarantine is being published in a new book called “Coronavirus Collective: Messages of Love, Light and Hope.” You can buy a copy on Amazon right now. All profits go to charity. Written in the first few weeks of the global shut down, 26 authors share their unique perspectives on how they see the world through the lens of the coronavirus. I think you’ll like it.


My Poem Won a Competition

One of my poems took first prize a national competition. The contest was created by the Friends of Falun Gong to support their ongoing struggle against persecution at the hands the Chinese government. You can check it out at the Friends of Falun Gong site or read it below.

Falun Gong practitioners take part in a parade commemorating the 20th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, in Washington on July 18, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

THE VIRUS AND THE CURE
by Rob Crisell

One hundred years of tyranny,
One hundred years of pain and lies.
If communists of China win,
The Chinese culture dies.

No virus spreads like wickedness.
No plague infects like bogus creeds.
No outbreak lasts a century,
Nor’s worse than evil deeds.

A virus pierces China’s heart;
It kills the Wheel, it kills the Tao.
A toxin made in Marx’s mind,
And weaponized by Mao.

Three decades past, there was a chance—
A peaceful group came into view.
With truth, compassion, self-control,
It made the old ways new.

It offered hope through ancient thought.
It practiced wisdom, love, and Qi,
Exposing communism’s lies
And negativity.

Departed ancestors gazed down
To see a hundred million strong.
Siddhartha smiled, Confucius bowed,
A new bloom—Falun Gong.

The virus, though, lives to destroy
All threats to its corrupting power.
It starved, abused, attacked the roots,
And tried to kill the flower.

O, people of the world, take heed!
A century is far too long.
We must confront this virus now.
It’s time to right this wrong.

One hundred years of tyranny,
One hundred years of pain and lies.
If communists of China win,
The Chinese culture dies.