[EXCLUSIVE] “Sinners” by John Outsider (Third Place Winner—World Poetry Day Competition 2021)

John Outsider’s “Sinners”, which challenges the binaries of good and evil, is the Third Place winner of the World Poetry Day Poetry Competition 2021, initiated by Grassroots Future and co-organised with Cha, Peel Street Poetry, and Spill Stories. Find out more about the competition HERE.

by John Outsider

I grew up learning the righteous are believers 
And wicked ones are sinners
The sin was simple, 
there was always an example 
Of how the bad deed is punished
How the the sinner was vanquished 
How the hero wins the girl
How the girl wears the pearl

The first sin was a mistake
Open the fridge, you want, you take
The honesty of the offense 
Made it forgivable
Plain and simple, like it never happened. 

But soon, honesty was punished
The realm of forgiveness finished too
The situation grew more weird 
Than a woman with a beard 

Now a lie could save a sin
Lies and trickery following in
To the parent, girlfriend the government 
To ones who taught the ways of judgment 

Feeling bad for being a sinner, 
I took the truth like a beginner 
The Truth did preserve peace, but hurt my lover
It hurt my father, hurt my mother

The truth transgressed 
Against the laws of government 
The truth was lost, no longer convenient 
And then the truth hurt me finally one day
I had to run away to my parents I say
I have to go to someplace far away which
They don’t bury a sinner or burn a witch
I come to you, a refugee, a foreigner 
You don’t see me as more than a piece of paper
No questions, who I am, or my intention 
You had an eye on long detention 

You look for a country on my paper
Enough of a reason to prove I am a danger
I thought the runners to your land were winners
I didn’t know to you, I am a born sinner
Where can I go in a world filled with lies
Which cruel god rules you aliens? 
How can I find where humans are fair
Where judges care? 

I am an asylum seeker 
My crime was lack of paper
My soul doesn’t count in your regulations
There’s not one place left for me in your nations

John Outsider reads “Sinners”:


John Outsider is an Iranian asylum seeker trapped in Hong Kong since 2012. As a person exposed to different religions, governments and social classes, he uses writing, comedy and poetry as ways to fight and highlight the struggles of a middle-aged Middle Eastern asylum seeker to raise awareness in society. He published a few books on Amazon under his pen name John Outsider. The Curse of Love, The Edge, The Shadows of the Sun and The Party are the titles of his published works.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s