The Tiananmen Square Massacre

The Tiananmen Square Massacre

By Steven Benedict
June, 1989

In the path of Chinese Peoples history, lined with marble lions, elephants, camels and Dragons:
along the Avenue of Eternal Peace by the despot’s clock, at this eleventh hour,
the column of Tanks track-laying speed forth with quelling purpose.
The cannon turret is scanning the horizon amidst the edifices of Beijing:
the Great Hall of the People, Museum of the Chinese Revolution,
past the Mao Zedong Memorial Hall, and structures of Temple of Heaven.
And there, ten-meter-high statue “Goddess of Democracy”, was cast by the new generation,
in the light of “a hopeful day” that began here, today on T’ien-an Men square.

From the upper echelon in deep discomfort
in the aftermath of dumpling soup and Peking duck,
this day Li Peng sent his message of deception,
when its virtue drowned in ‘Beijing’s rusty pipes’,
instead flooding the streets with weapons, armed with ‘Mao’s Thoughts’,
lead by courteous high rank Generals commanding tanks.
The 4th June 1989 TV images, are beamed into our comfortable lounges,
we did not forget Mao’s Cultural Revolution;
Will we forget one man in the white shirt?
standing before the column of tanks,
head high, hands gesturing, (The light armory of all dissidents!)
facing deadly caterpillar of armour and steel,
intimidating, hands apart, like if herding invisible spirits
from the ‘Autumn Harvest’ uprising!
Stop! echoes his silent gesture;
before The Heroes of Tiananmen Square rioting,
on the gallows of the ‘Ten great relationships.’

The youth in the white shirt deterring persistently
this motorised mass of steel,
from continuing forth towards its final destination unchecked.
We see the tank swaying like the howling monstrous beast,
to left, then to the right, to miss this dissident daring step.
Than again advancing forward, slow, but hesitantly like if echoing Mao’s:
‘Correct Handling of Contradictions Among The People’.
Why doesn’t he, the Driver go on? in a ‘Great Leap Forward’.
Or was this Tank Driver, Commander or General,
deceptively; in that instant and for that moment only,
The Tiananmen Square Hero?

In the early hours of 4th of June,
in the side streets off Tiananmen Square, out of the world sight,
the massacre begun by The People’s Army; tracer bullets and tanks,
shooting and running over, The People, who were shouting slogans and trowing stones.
This was the massacre that provoked the conscience of western morality and tears from one Prime Minister of Australia

The Tiananmen Square Massacre


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