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)

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.

Author: admin

Rob Crisell is an author, actor, teacher, and Shakespearean in Temecula, CA. He teaches poetry and Shakespeare with the Murrieta Valley Union School District as part of its Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) program. He is a Shakespeare lecturer with Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. He has acted in The Merchant of Venice, Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged), Baskerville, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, The Tempest (Prospero), Macbeth, Othello (Iago), and others. Over the quarantine, he has acted in Much Ado About Nothing and Merry Wives of Windsor (with Nathan Agin’s “A Working Actor’s Journey production) and King Lear (Quarantine Players). He has written and performed several one-man plays featuring Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Shakespeare in America. He’s the author of Shakespeare’s Book of Wisdom: Advice on Living a Wiser, Happier Life from William Shakespeare & Friends (DePortola Press 2018). His 2016 TED Talk is “How NOT to Hate Shakespeare.” His verse adaptation of Sophocles’ Electra will be produced by Full Circle Players in Riverside, California in October 2020. He is a graduate of Yale University and George Mason University Law School. For details, visit or www.facebook/robcrisellactor/.

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