Liu knew that freedom was not an obscenity
so he mentioned it till out of breath
Liu knew that freedom-seeking was not criminality
so he let the bars mean what they could to blinded men
surest at heart he was stronger & freer than the lot of them
Liu dictated no political theory for a state that fears freemen,
a little list of demands was all, though some saw in it democracy;
But democracy alone has not anywhere in the world cured poverty,
or bigotry —
the bottle, after all, is not by itself the medicine
Liu read and was aware of what News said in its agency, but
laughed so hard he cried at the frequent comicality because
Liu no more sought cancer than he sought the Nobel prize,
since what good are outer gains amidst inner dysfunction? calamity?
Liu, lover of his compatriots wanted for them as himself a voice
to express adulation, or dissent, according to their experience
and these in variation to be stated without fear and anywhere
from the Gobi Desert to the Southernmost sea,
from Mount Everest to Moonlight Lake,
from Kunming to Harbin,
from Weibo to the theatre of Tiananmen.
What Liu sought, and paid for
has currency the world over.