By Yasuhiro Yotsumoto


I wonder if Xi Jinping
wakes up in the middle of night and
think of Hong Kong

or if he would not
feel anything like the foot of an elephant
stamping upon the thorns of roses.

The two activists who were arrested
look like my son and daughter,
his jaggy head, and her long black hair.

The Japanese government
will certainly ‘continue to watch the situation carefully’.
The freedom of another country would not bring them too many votes.

The former suzerain
is too much caught up with its own divorce battle
to be bothered by such a thing as democracy.

Unlike Nanjing in 1938
or Prague in 1968,
Hong Kong in 2019 is right here and now,
staining the hands of all of us with its fresh blood.

Deserting them is tantamount
to betraying the future of our own sons and daughters.

What can we do
other than praying?
Poetry is so frustrating!


Under a different circumstance,
it would have been some spectacle.

Could have even been beautiful
that the streets, temples and people
being stained blue.

If you hadn’t known the circumstance,
you would have found it spooky
to see all those faces hidden behind the masks.
You might have thought them a mass of cowards
or a march of totalitarianism.

But the fact is neither of those
and the people in the whole world (even a bear) knows it.

That blue
is the color of blood shed by Freedom.
Those masks
the fortress of Freedom.

Those crying in the deep fog
are the bravest people
in the most beautiful city on earth.

And the truth is: they are fighting now
for us.

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