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Posts Tagged ‘commentary’

We were among those hundred innocent feet

wheeling through the clouds of dusts.  So close

that someone shouted to stop the angry phalanx

from advancing the gates. We were young bloods then.

Brave as a collective force ululating vignettes

about homeless families, starving peasants,

weak indigents, landless tribes,

friends of disappeared and the exiled.

 

We stand like a hundred innocent moths

circling fearlessly around the flame. Ready

to extinguish our fates  for one day of glory.

The cups ready to be filled with the bitter

after-taste of seeking the truth on the matter

of state.  Of politics. Of international affairs.

We stomp them shamelessly beneath our sandals.

We ripped them off from our tattered jeans.

We print them on the plainness of black shirts.

That justice of the land is not blind and should prevail.

 

We debated doctrines. We fight about logic.

We push our pens. We clasp our fists.

We join the caravan. We live our days

marching  vigorous  in the streets chanting

the aged texts  on mass struggles by the red book.

Burning  effigies.  Donning the placards.

We abhor dictatorship. We hated imperialism.

Like waterbombs spouting heavily against our faces.

Like the many teargases  hurled against our defences.

 

We bled when the police beat us out of the line.

Isolated  when we are thrown into prison cells.

Humiliated when subjected into torture chambers.

Discriminated when hunted down in the mountains.

We rise and made each part of our bodies as weapons.

Our  mouths  without strained voices.

Our  eyes  without biases.

Our  ears without prejudice.

Our fists without cowardice.

Our hearts without fear.

 

This is our revolution against the world order.

And the phoenix will rise again and again

among the many moths that have died.

Resurrected and will never be silenced.

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His muffled voice breaks

the long stretches of silence

while his hand guided

young and untrained hands

practicing calligraphy.

 

Watchful and demanding precision

of copied texts exacting translation.

As he unbuckles the leathery tome

of secrets in a wooden chest.

Tradition, theology and religion.

Diaries, recipes, scientific notations.

 

Inventories, census, receipts.

Readings of narratives and poetry,

astrology, proverbs and magic spells.

The volumes of letters, last wills,

songs and words of blessings.

 

Spending hours and hours sitting

among the piles of pages digging

for clues and answers to mysteries.

The labyrinth of a culture. A treasure.

Each of the fragile pages a wealth

weightier than silver and the gold.

 

Piecing each fragment in a mosaic

mapping an ancient civilization

long forgotten. He believed, it was

here  in his hands lies the fiber, sinew

and muscle of generations of man-

the society is ought to remember.

 

So he became a warrior, obsessed

with the written word wielding

weapons of passion and wisdom.

With his small army of juvenile scholars

continuing an unpopular legacy.

 

Waging the classic battle against time,

earth bugs, heat, rot and decay

slowly finding its way like marauders

pillaging the essence of our humanity

into oblivion and brink of extinction.

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I wonder

how silent

the trees are

under the canopy

of the rainforest,

waiting for the old wood-

giving way a piece

of heaven for the

young to claim a space.

That’s how we are.

 

The rules reign supreme

in this cycle- a jungle

called life. They are

the ones who had

been there first.

The towering teacher

who holds the key

to wisdom.

 

We are followers.

 

Resilient and bending

gracefully like

an outstretched arms

begging for the time

of our liberation.

Asking permission

to shine and find

our way to embrace

the light.

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These wasteful hours

in the museum hall

exhibiting the exploits,

critics alike

are flocking over,

in desperate attempt

unlocking

digesting

the meaning of a mystery

to which is none.

Blabber-mouthing platitudes

and bloated praises.

The body of work.

 

You will see how

this culture of patronage

drains the penniless,

being subjects

fallen prey-

caged

framed

to a prisoned canvas

of posing nude.

 

In a night enveloped

by a faked light.

Revealing,

showing

some fleshly delight

while acting out

a cheap scene ripped 

from the page

of a slut magazine.

 

An art nouveau.

A magnum opus

on which they praise

the painter,

and not the one

whose eyes

are staring back

from the canvas

like a muted witness-

mocking,

despising

the cultured whims

of the bourgeoisie.

 

They call it art.

And you shudder

at a thought, when

you know it is

a meaningless,

empty accolade.

Worth a few

hundred bucks

reclining,

staring

blankly to a space-

being still

and have nothing

to hide.

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Someone had it written clear-

that one should not just keep pacing

on this earth, like a  somnambulist do.

Instead, he should lay beside the grass.

Ears close to the ground hearing

faint sounds and whispers coming

from the earth’s bosom.

 

Hearing how the rhythmic breath

of stillborn seeds of coniferous trees

waiting to break out of its shell,

awakening to the hymn of the spring.

 

Hearing how aquifers running deep

into crevices, into rivers, carving

canyons, gorges, fjords to the open seas.

Sailing away, riding with the wind.

 

Hearing the tides keep pushing,

and pulling in. Or the breaking waves

into the cliffs. Scouring the shoreline

of an island down to the ocean floor.

 

Hearing how the mountains gliding

its terrestrial skin past each other.

Like a potter reshaping and remolding

the land into a new continent.

 

Hearing how it grumbles beneath,

venting out ash plumes and lava streams.

A force roused from deep slumber

churning mood swings in its womb.

 

Someone had it written clear-

that one should not just keep pacing

on this earth, like a  somnambulist do.

 

We should hear the gathering storms

of the impending avalanche. Iceberg splitting.

The glacier receding.  Oil gushes, spilling

over the gulf. Helpless cacophony of wildlife

endangered. Landslides and the levees

breached by hurricane. Rainforest on fire.

Desert sands advancing. Clods of soil

drying up. Locusts swarming over fields.

Ground crumbling into sinkholes.

 

We should hear how restless it gets

day after day, when  the clock is ticking out.

Faint sounds becoming loud voices

sending distress call to reckon with,

summoning mankind to listen. The earth

finally eclipsing to its perilous journey.

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To Pablo Neruda

I write these letters in smoke. They are fog

to the starry night of the south where you existed,  

circumnavigated the world, then extinguished

as a flame, long before I was born.

 

You said you had lived in the springtime

among the cherry blossoms of the west. While

here on this island, I had lived humming

lullabye amidst the scorched patches of sand.

 

I cannot sit still and my memory was filled

of your presence here. I can hear your voice

from a distant time and place. Your voice has traveled

and finally touch down inwardly and it lingers.

 

Tonight, the sad lines of your verses haunt me forever,

love is short and forgetting is so long”.

I chewed the words on my empty stomach

as the light from your waning moon fills my room.

 

I have no windows, they are shattered.  There is no door to enter,

so you don’t need to knock.  Inside my house is fire left by bombs

and gunfire.  And on my earthened floor are scattered pieces

of limbs and severed heads of dead dogs and cats devoid of shelter.

 

I have seen the heaven through the bullet holes on my tin roof.

And the fire is still burning from within. I have seen the clouds

unfolding and unfastened as I became the enemy of the gods,

pot-bellied in the pulpit- imposing cruelty to fools purchasing piety.

 

I have been an inheritor of misfortune, like a stubborn root

of an old dying tree, digging the earth to its graveyard, a tomb.

I seek to find in this endless tunnel, a repose for my corpse-

stiff, in pain and left there naked, writhing in the cold.

 

I can no longer find the stars in the night sky, Pablo.

And the tears begin to fall like rain on the tin roof.

Outside, you wailed a storm, flooding my being,

persistent, engulfing me with the soliloquy of the night.

 

This bed I made out of the coconut tree, lacerating my body

of little knives, that have sliced and shredded my soul. And I

smelled of the blood through the blade of your words

as I whisked them away to the westerly winds to reach you.

 

I ask you. Why things happened this way? History blood-stained.

And the sea mourns while changing course of the mighty river.

In the horizon, a crimson tide of the many who died seeking the meaning

of their lives. And the night birds still singing their lonely dirge.

 

I ask you. Where are the lilac? Immortalized in sonnets by men,

those middle-aged aristocrats. And the women becoming birds of prey,

caged and waiting to be sold.  Incessantly knocking on the doors

to see some faint hope traversing the day into their neon light.

 

Where are the language of stars? Deciphered by hypnotized strangers

who quest for clues and signs and wonders.  Why does the rain

did not stop from falling? I am bailing out to exist from this deluge,

finding redemption while concealing my cowardice. I cannot fight.

 

I am poor, Pablo. But I know your name. And the dense earth that

we both lived, became the pavement for  marching foot falls

of the many striving to live to see until their dying day- freedom,

justice and equality. Unanswered like prayers, unheard of the divine.

 

Your verses did not speak of dreams and leaves and great volcanoes

of your native land.  Your verses did not promise the opium

that will heal the wounds of time.  But your verses have spoken

of the blood in the streets.  And the blood in the streets, I have seen.

 

I will offer an elegy in my homeland. I will sing your song in vain,

hoping for someone to hear and join me singing your immortal chorus.

Your ashes I would want to scatter into the night clouds until tomorrow.

When morning will be awakened by pilgrims sojourning the other world.

 

And still, I am waiting for the stars to appear in the Far-east. I had

only a rose to your funeral.  I will not be able to attend. But I will

whisper to the westerly winds my discontent and the endless despair

you will hear from the shore of this island, questioning existence.

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In the distance

after the crash-

 

strong winds

lingers cold.

Unsettling

the desert,

 

a constant

epic battle.

Forgotten.

 

Silent torment

 

gathering

storm clouds.

Marching sound

of thunder

and lightning

invading sky.

 

World in sepia

fragile scenes-

blanket of dust

and scarlet tide.

Flames

embers

cinders

ashes

fall

fall

 

Fall.

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