Friday, July 14, 2017

The Empty Chair of China - A Sonnet for Liu Xiaobo by Konrad Tademar

The Empty Chair of China - a sonnet for Liu Xiaobo by Konrad Tademar
The Empty Chair of China
  • "If you want to enter hell, don't complain of the dark…”

You shall not perish if you dream the empty hand
For the ashes cannot hold you, they are but lines--
--to be found painted with a silent love in the sand…
of an empty chair screaming at the neon signs…

The throne of thoughts dissolves, a castle of parchment
In the conflagration of oppression and fear
Pen wielded as blade in a book-lined apartment
Wheels of the bicycle spin, with words left to steer

Hold on… I need both hands to embrace the world whole
Across space that defines the liberty to speak
At Tiananmen Square where the Goddess bared her soul
Across time that binds all men who conscience may seek

I place a sword on an empty chair to mark--
--the passage of freedom’s Knight beyond the dark.

July 13, 2017 -
Sonnet Used With Permission

A Winner in Spite of Beijing's Threats

On Friday, Oct. 8, 2010, the Norwegian Nobel Institute awarded the 2010 Peace
Prize to the imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, the first Chinese citizen to
receive the award. The news was received coldly by Beijing...--,29307,2024319,00.htm
On the death of Liú Xiǎobō (刘晓波) - born in the city of Chángchūn (镸春), in Jilin (吉林) province of China in the year of the wood Goat on December 28, 1955 - died in the city of Shenyang (沈阳), in Liaoning (辽宁) province in Shenyang's First Hospital of China Medical University in China in the year of the fire Rooster on July 13, 2017. He received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2010 while he was serving an 11 year sentence as a political prisoner for crimes against the Communist State. Neither he, nor his wife Liu Xia (刘霞) who was immediately placed under house arrest, nor any representative from China was allowed to receive the Nobel Prize in his name. The Nobel prize committee left an empty chair for him.

Konrad Tademar is an American poet living in Los Angeles. His works range from single sonnets to epic poems on themes including current events, myth, and philosophy. In addition to American subjects, his
work is strongly informed by international events and history, especially those of freedom and oppression..
The Galaxy Children's Choir of Beijing joins the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square on the February 28, 2010 weekly broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word.

May we all strive to follow in Liu Xiaobo's steps toward Peace...
His work will live on...

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