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I lived in Shenzhen, China, for my 6th and 7th grades.
- China was AMAZING.

In China, blond hair is unusual, I stood out like neon
and touching blond hair was considered good luck.

In a train station, if I stood still, I could draw a curious mob
- especially in the provinces like Heubi and Shanxi. I was in
more than a few selfies but people were polite and respectful.

China is much more advanced than the U.S..
Everything is new, clean and modern - the Internet is faster.
Most trains are bullet trains that travel 325kph (>200mph).
There are more than 10 new, gleaming cities larger (and newer) than New York.

An App called WeChat (used on your phone) runs the world.
imagine Facebook, iMessage, PayPal and Uber combined
- with that one App you could do anything.

At restaurants, you paid your bill at your table using WeChat from a QR code that the electronic corner of your table displayed. You even paid street vendors with the app - no one used cash.

Cameras are everywhere - if you break a law like jaywalking and BBBZZZZ you get a text and the fine is deducted from your WeChat account - all automatically.

Public TV screens, located on corners, show recent violations with the perps picture and the fine they paid - again, automatic.

Does this sound Orwellian? Well, maybe, but Chinese police
don't **** people - or even engage people for minor offenses.

America, you're broke and on the edge of being a third world country.

Yeah, yeah, I know that China is free-market-communist
and certainly imperfect - but if you saw China, you'd be impressed
and you'd know the ugly truth - America has squandered it's wealth on military macho and forty years of war. China's last, small war was in 1980 (With Vietnam who they beat in 3 weeks and 2 days).

Middle America looks almost bombed-out with closed businesses
(even before the pandemic) - but in China, you can’t look anywhere
without seeing building cranes - like a forest of trees. A physical
illustration of Americas loss of wealth.

I LOVE America - it’s sad to see. We've gotta wake up.
China isn't smarter, they learned EVERYTHING about capitalism from us.
topacio May 26
the need
to create
& connect
is strong
with
this one.
Lacey Clark May 22
My mother is strong
Wrinkles like love markings cemented in wet sidewalks
My mother knows no limits
She's a true nomad, with no belongings,
no job,
no life partner,
No home.
She travels from state to state
With no goals, no aim
Rediscovering herself
Unknowingly.
She says to me often
‘I’m 50 and just learning what you know about life and healing. So be patient with me.’
In Star Wars, Yoda says
‘The greatest teacher, failure is.
Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters’.
And I think of a time before I was born, and how her unfolding has toppled, quite ungracefully, into my unfolding,
And how we will always bicker about it.
Still a draft... not sure how to tighten this poem. Advice?
Reappak Apr 28
Take me on a trip,
where we lay on the bare grass
stare at the night sky
talk to the moon
wink at the stars
Take me on a trip
to a piece of land unknown
away from this life
Where we witness
the wars, the stars fight!
fika Apr 20
the only wars
i create
are against myself
i am my own worst enemy
Children aren't meant to know firsthand of the wars that are fought.
They are not meant to smell of
blood and ash and helplessness.
They aren't meant to be ferocious as feral wolves,
snarling and snapping at anyone that dares to get too close.
They are not meant to have bullets for words,
and knives for hands.
They are not meant to taste of loneliness,
much less of fear and gunmetal.
Children aren't meant to dream of loss
and failure
and sheets of blood that rain down
and paint the buildings
a macabre crimson.
Children aren't meant to become soldiers that fight the wars of their elders.
Don't grow up too fast. Enjoy your childhood while it lasts, because you'll miss it when it's gone.
Screams, screeches, groans and wails,
Brutalities, agonies, torture, and blood,
Tear Gases, pallet guns, bullets and bombs
Humanity sobs, world is falling apart

Kids are blinded
Men are jailed
Women are molested
The old are tortured

Luckily, you have food
Billions are starving
You have a warm blanket
Trillions live under the frigid sky

Dreams are murdered
Voices are  unheard
Wishes are being blurred
Every heart has become graveyard

Sweet melodies step down as Sighs take over the throne
Rainbow of Joy is washed by the deluge of tears
Soul of humanity becomes a pray of endless wild Forest of Wars
Even the Sun refuses to rise above the Plumb, snowy mountains

Yet you say world is beautiful??
For you are at peace….
Come out of your palace
You will see….
Sky painting itself red!
Butterflies renouncing their dreams
Birds with trimmed wings
Blood oceans, barren trees, burnt houses,
Teared eyes, and shattered bodies

Earth is ugly
Earth is savage
Earth is a cage
Earth is a jinxed place
                  (Paghunda Zahid)
WHY WARS?

Why wars? A mess of massacres,
hills and ravines of horror, bullets
tearing through human lives, bombs
blowing up bodies that lie on
bodies, torrents of blood pouring
like a river through flooded fields.
And for what? For forever? Why
wars?

Copyright 2020 Tod Howard Hawks
A graduate of Andover and Columbia College, Columbia University, Tod Howard Hawks has been a poet and human-rights advocate his entire adult life. He just finished his novel, A CHILD FOR AMARANTH.
Amanda Jan 14
People start whole wars
The bigger picture unseen
Red flags all ignored
Idk haha
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