Walls [Poetry]

This is a poem by Chen Du.

Walls here can’t grow

Even the humblest blooms

Are indifferently cold

Separating us from the rainbow

And the miraculous theatre

Of nature

They dress in all designs

Out of the minds

That have endeavored to iconize

Beauty, but only to exclude us

From the truly


We climb the walls

One after another

Only to see more

Flat and square

Like scars on the cheeks

Of the universe

They part us alive

Confine us dead

Seemingly shelter us tight

But actually isolate us who are alike

They restrict our sight

And even the willing might

They live in our heart

Hide in our blood

Cripple our feet

Blur our vision

Harden our tongues

And lengthen our distance

We hope by building walls

We could become stronger

But only to uncover

How tiny ‘n weak we are

Within those walls

Built inside us

In a world full of walls

Both within ‘n without

The visible and invisible

Beings and selves

Either truthful or imaginative

With no one able to tell

So that we can never

Step out of the walls

Nor dissect them

Nor destroy them

Nor forget about them

‘Cause we have become, walls

Chen Du is a Voting Member of American Translators Association and a member of the Translators Association of China with a Master’s Degree in Biophysics from Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Master’s Degree in Radio Physics from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. She revised more than eight chapters of the Chinese translation of the biography of Helen Snow, Helen Foster Snow – An American Woman in Revolutionary China. In the United States, her translations have appeared in Lunch Ticket, The Bare Life Review and River River. Her essay was published by The Dead Mule and Hamline University English Department, her poem has appeared in Levitate and her poetry was published by The Dead Mule online. She is also the author of the book Successful Personal Statements. Find her online at ofsea.com.


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