Tom Fearon

Professional communicator in Canberra

Kunming is Crying

Mar. 4, 2014

By Tom Fearon

Illustration: Peter C. Espina/GT

Shocking horror fills my head - the unsheathing of long knives,
And instantly my heart mourns for twenty-nine robbed lives.
The City of Eternal Spring - somewhere south of the clouds,
Today we're all from Kunming - we bleed just like the crowds.

Migrant workers stood in line - familiar with the routine,
Unaware at the time of bloodshed to be seen.
The older ones slept on sacks as youngsters thumbed out texts,
Their common trait - innocence - each one as much as the next.

A dozen wolves stalked their prey who sought their seat on a train,
Helpless as they fell and cried - begging not to be slain.
Wielding knives with hate and evil - human bulls eyes for their darts,
The only clue - the assailants' clothes - blacker than their hearts.

A lifetime of torment awaits survivors - a cruel fate for the "lucky" who fled,
Eternal rest - the solemn reality - for those stained in crimson red.
Ethnic tensions have been stoked without acknowledgement of error,
But don't mistake the hell on March 1st for anything but terror.

Five years have passed since 2009 when Urumqi was left scarred,
A tragedy that condemned Uyghurs by the same brush to all be tarred.
From Hotan to Hunan you can see them everywhere,
Just remember to refrain from giving all a suspicious stare.

Now a people live deeper divided - suffering in anxiety,
Painfully aware of a distant dream - the "harmonious society."
We try to find some sense in loss - the suffering and dying,
But before you vent your hate remember Kunming is still crying.

I'm not Chinese but my heart is heavy for those reeling from the pain,
We're not so different after all - deep down we're much the same.
These wounds will heal as time goes by - these tears will also dry,
But no answer will satisfy the question we're left to ask of "why?"

See the original poem here.