He won’t ever forget

Desmond Tutu,

archbishop of South Africa,


George W. Bush

& Tony Blair

“should face trial on the Hague

for their role in Iraq War.”

He rues

“a different standard

for African leaders”

while the white Sahibs

in the devastation of Iraq

go scat-free,

even delivering speeches

about “world peace & leadership.”

Waging a war

that killed thousands

on a lie?


& loyalists of GMA,

in a wheelchair

for photo-ops

to elicit sympathy,

is being unjustly persecuted?

So much bad prose

of sycophants

& young poets

who wail at the moon

that they’re metaphysically

orphaned by the blasphemous


who stuck it out with Palparan?

Verily, the target

is on the crosshairs of a gun

but they won’t pull the trigger,

averring it’s never Christian!


Yes, what is there

to remember about ML

when they were born

after the fall?

They can only stare

at a blank wall

& gesture

they’re not to be disturbed

like the sign on the

hotel door.

The litany of the tortured

is beyond their

Walt Disney imagination –

it couldn’t have happened,


everything is bizarre, hearsay…

Their elders

never told them the story,

this September fairy tale…


Their faces

are blank pages

on which are written

letters in white ink –

invisible the words

of terror:

knock on the door

at midnight,

crush of rifle butts,

electrodes on genitals,

the silent scream

at instant confessionals,

unmarked graves

in the countryside…

O the interrogation,

the abominable interrogation…

O it didn’t happen;

they never

saw it at all!

Thus generations

strolling in mega malls

shrug off

what wizened elders have foretold.

No one believes

it will happen again

in the future:

their noses are close

to the grindstone…

What nightmare is there

if they sleep well

through the day?

The now is their existential claim,

old fogeys

are trapped in their

own unbearable time:

it is all

imaginary war zones…


How do you learn

to forget so easily?

Just as,

in the blink of an eye,

he disremembers her,

surviving the pain

of her phantom silence…

Who imagines what never

existed in her zone?

How can they tremble

at the future

when their heads

navigate the stars?

The moment is forever unique,

nothing is on hold:

activists have flown the coop,

sleepless in New York;

the few silently go about

their new businesses,

forgetting the old promises.

O Who keeps the old, old faith?

You can count them on

your fingers, anyway…

A new ballgame, they say,

& he, who doesn’t

adapt to the climate,

will surely perish…


The old timer

has idolized the Dictator

since ML:

“It was the best thing

that happened…”

He insisted,

professing loyalty

like some court jester.

& they are legion

waiting in the wings,

biding their time

to make an appearance.

O troublemakers, after all,

are springing everywhere;

O the likes of him

will hopefully descend

from heaven…

His royal family of concocted pedigree, after all,

has been consecrated

in the northern country.

Have the people

turned fascists themselves?

Activists, after all,

negotiate with his dummies

in the hellhole of Congress…


Our elders

never told us about it –

but history is memory!

Of what is there

to remember

& be warned about

if nothing tells us

of the past:

We’re secure with our


violence Is ever a disaster,

we would rather negotiate

at the diplomatic table.

Dialogue with the other side

is most preferable…

The missing children –

we never knew them,

anyway –

should be faulted

for their own disappearance?

It was a general’s

greatest performance

to rise above

the bloody cabal

of the powerless,

the ineffectual.

O life is simply a bitch,

each to his own heroic myth.


He says,

without being ironic

& quoting

Danny DeVito,

Hollywood actor,

that “at this point

of his life,

he doesn’t want

to overthink things –“

as if to shrug off

the omen on the elders

imposed by

accusing brats.

Didn’t he warn them

of the pitfalls

of martial rule?

Should would-be emperors,

as it were,

be “’nipped’ in the bud?”

Fidel Castro,

who in the twilight

of his career,

would confess

he could not divine the future

even 20 years from now –

after all,

ever we live

on the eve

of Armageddon?

But history

may repeat itself

is not lost on him,

like Benjamin’s angel.

Something holds him back –

the ghosts of nightmares

keep recurring like a plague.

If the arrogant young blokes

leer they know better,

O let them be –

he’ll wait out

the catastrophe that

dutifully unfolds…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to AMNESIA

  1. This poem reminds me of the class discussion last meeting. :)

Leave a Reply

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

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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