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Cyndi MacMillan Avatar Cyndi MacMillan - Premium MemberPremium Member Send Soup Mail Go to Poets Blog Block poet from commenting on your poetry

Below is the poem entitled TURNING WENDIGO which was written by poet Cyndi MacMillan. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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                        CEO of the Schizophrenia Society of Canada: 
                                    If you ever got out of the Selkirk Mental Health Centre, 
                                     what would you do?
                        Li: I hope to leave one day, but I have to make sure it wouldn’t 
                             happen again. That there would be no voices. 

                             I would change my name to be anonymous


There is a darkness that we can not see for it lies behind the eyes,
as stark as bone under a harvest moon, masquerading an appetite.

We sit side by side with darkness, oblivious to its plans, its hunger,
and on a July night in o eight, a monster took a long bus ride

across the Trans-Canada Highway. It walked up a tight aisle, then
it sat beside Tim McLean, a young man on his way home, a carnie

with many friends. His mother was waiting for him, eager to see
his eyes, that bright smile. Vince Weiguang Li had bought a ticket

for Thunder Bay. He was once a computer software engineer in 
Beijing, well rewarded, but immigration punished. As an Edmonton

resident the educated man delivered newspapers, served french-fries.
There is an article in the paper he delivered, a story about the legend

of the Wendigo ... and I wonder if the journalist is haunted, I wonder 
if that writer wakes at night in terror, thinking of Li turning pages,

reading of evil, its want of flesh, the taste of blood. Li sat beside Tim,
not one word was spoken, the witnesses reported. Li is big, strong, and

young Tim was listening to his ipod, texting that he’d soon be home. 
He did not see the butcher knife that Vince concealed. The rampage 

was unexpected. Li stabbed the youth over and over; the Greyhound bus
stopped, people ran for the door as arterial spray splattered the old vinyl. 

Li came undone and beheaded his victim; the legend was reborn for
he consumed Tim’s eyes, swallowed the good soul he saw there, and then

he opened that bloody chest, gnawed a heart full of exuberance. He hacked 
off a nose and fingers, placed them into bags to savor later, he became the

Wendigo ,no, no, he’ll forevermore be Nian. Eventually, the police tazered
him. Not Criminally responsible, was the final verdict, due to mental illness,

hospitalization, not prison, and a mother’s tears savage an unjust stillness. 
Li was granted supervised day passes and walks the streets of Selkirk.

Four years, only four years, for devouring a life without provocation,
and a family struggles to pass Tim’s Law in a system that has gone mad...

There is a darkness that we can not see for it lies behind the eyes,
as stark as bone under a harvest moon, masquerading an appetite.

*Wendigo is an aboriginal evil spirit that is said to possess humans and turn them into cannibals... there have been communities in northern Alberta which have reported that people believed they were "turning wendigo." 

* The Nian is a Chinese mythological demon that hunts people and a part of the Chinese New Year tradition. 

*Tim's Law would ensure that people with mental illness who kill are kept institutionalized for life, without exception.

**The quote on top was taken from an interview with Li this year.

This is a true story. The Greyhound murder/cannabilism took place in July 2008.
May 2012 he was granted daypasses. The clock is ticking... it is only a matter of time before he is fully released... unless Tim's Law is passed.

May reason prevail.


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  1. Date: 6/27/2013 12:01:00 AM
    Wot's the actual term called when the end of a stanza bleeds into the next one? You incorporate it here several times(stanzas/non-rhyming couplets, wotever), with enjambment. It has a good effect in this poem....I am becoming more and more a fan of this technique(wotever it is called). I have been practicing it since last year(again, mainly not publicly posted, is all). Actually, I use the technique about 6 or 7 times in the poem that I am currently working on(a big rambler of a piece).

  1. Date: 6/26/2013 11:52:00 PM
    Ok, before I leave a comment about the poetry itself, I have to admit that I am shocked this man already has supervised day passes after four years. There shouldn't EVER be any type of release for him, supervised or not. Who is going to be held accountable if Vince Weiguang Li is released into public?! I am a firm believer that there are certain lines that when crossed, there is no true rehabilitation. This is an example of one of those lines. So is pedophelia.

  1. Date: 6/10/2013 2:23:00 PM
    Man I can't read any more of this, I wouldn't even want to take a tranquiller!! A lot of great writing here but way to much focus on 'things' which GROW when focused upon [It's a great verse as always I like how you broke the lines but its all too real for me] Congrad's on your win Light & Love

    Guzzi Avatar Debbie Guzzi
    Date: 6/10/2013 2:24:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    line 1 by this..I mean verses on this topic Sis not YOUR verse in particular
  1. Date: 6/10/2013 2:13:00 PM
    What a horror this is.......even more so, knowing it really took about giving someone a nightmare!.....this is too terrible to contemplate......but what an amazing job you did telling this story! You are such a gifted writer.....even the darkest tale becomes amazing.

  1. Date: 6/10/2013 2:10:00 PM
    congrats in Roy's contest............. SKAT

  1. Date: 6/3/2013 8:14:00 AM
    Another amazing write Cyndi!

  1. Date: 5/31/2013 10:14:00 AM
    This's masterpiece Cyndi! A very thoughtful write wove under a grief atmosphere. Thanks for sharing. Well done. AO

  1. Date: 5/30/2013 8:58:00 AM
    I feel the purge of your soul here Cyndi....well penned can only pray for justice....or hope the lad had brothers who seek bring light....jimbo

  1. Date: 5/30/2013 1:47:00 AM
    Cyndi its a must read, i hope the law is passed immediately. .....Seren

  1. Date: 5/29/2013 10:01:00 PM
    Modern day Cannibals My God why do you do this to us?