In Libya,
militia commanders
would no longer
return to the barracks.
After the fall of Gaddafi
they have savored
the drunken spell of victory.
For Zeidoun bin Hamid,
they only have power
more than they could imagine –
It’s hard to take it away.
They have invested
their lives in the revolution,
In Maguindanao,
the guerillas are marking
their own sweet time
for the state
to make real its promises –
then the conflagration?
The prophets of doom
silently raise the question.
Like a bad poem
whose final coda
rings out
its grim forebodings?

They are still in denial,
these Catholic bishops
who “were complicit
in crimes committed
by Argentina’s 1976 – 1983
But the sad, brutal facts
lay bare
the souls of children
snatched from their mothers,
prisoners who were tortured
for their crimson beliefs,
the desaparesidos
who are forever lost
in Derrida’s “depths
of absolute darkness”…
Was it God’s will
they were simply following?
O wild is the road to hell
for criminal communists!

Han Suyin,
she who put Mao Zedong
under the radar
of the western world,
passed away
in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Is there real mourning
for him whose youth
saw her walk the
3rd floor corridor
of Arts & Sciences
in Diliman,
her eyes gently meeting his?
An era is forever gone,
his memory drained
by another leaving,
but today’s X generation
won’t ever remember
the morning after
of the revolution
that snatched China
out of imperial doom.

Shocking is the picture
of the guy
who appeared so frail
like a convalescent –
this “old lion” who used
to roar
& break
the silence of the world.
O How he winced
at time itself
which languished like the absurd devil…
He saw him in his youth
mooning at the fascists
swooping down from
the air as their plane
surveyed the campus
to scuttle
the Diliman communards…
Where has all the bravura
When once he would walk
for 48 hours
bringing food & firearms
to the northern underground?
So long ago…
Did he share the tales
sealed inside
his skull?
“So much resistance then,
but nothing seems to
have happened,”
he had muttered.
So long ago,
& tears have dried in his dimming eyes.

Was he a self-styled
rebel without a cause?
It wasn’t even in East of Eden
where he grew workingclass roots.
O Does he rue
his failure to play the game
of Ph.ds which could have
allowed him to pontificate
on nonsense with academic
It is all a parade of clowns
out to rule the ministry!
So there he is –
looking for a job,
his lectureship in jeopardy:
to ease him through the day
had been dissolved:
children had steered clear of him
for taking mind games “seriously”.
These days, it is a crime
to remark on “the end times”
wherein Obama is
“twilight’s last gleaming”
as America hurtles down the cliff…
Why warn the fools
as the clock ticks
blindly, fatally?
O where lies justice then?
O there is none,
never has been.
To live like a dog
& be done with the usual grief…

What is there to do then?
Memory melts like ice
in an ocean of water –
& he drowns in the whirlpool
of his own teary eyes…
Pennies & cents,
pennies & cents,
chant the ghosts in the air.
& she?
A trail of smoke
blackening the horizon
where the sun mournfully falls…
The child that once
walked into the future
never knew life is simply
a fool’s gamble…
There has never been a lesson
to be told.
He lives like a pebble
on the beach,
a stray dog foraging
on the street.

A memory museum
“to memorialize
martial law?”
But can artifacts –
handcuffs, barbed wire,
truncheons, even skulls –
speak about betrayals
& torture
in the might
& raise the dead from the grave?
Pictures are surfaces
of whatever moment
in time/space
that registers the pain,
the dread, the anxiety
of the real that would be
erased in an instance,
& means nothing at all
because pain is to be disremembered
for people to move on…
& what words should frame
the alleged truth?
Sound only echoes
the colors of feeling/mood
that is silence, after all.
O The culprits
are still lording it over
with their shameless deeds;
no one has ever been punished.
The dictator’s family
still calls the shots,
bewailing they have been unjustly crucified.
The victims’ heir
has chosen his own tribesmen
who speak with serpentine tongues…
What moment, then,
should be served?
The virtuous & the vicious
have slept
on their common bed…

She’s going to Divisoria
for a set of stark-white uniform
that would make her look
like a respectable nurse or doctor,
this kid out to be
a nutritionist – dietitian
strangely in a country
ruled by hunger like a despot.
She aims to land
a cozy job in a hospital
with chronic budget deficit
for medicine & food…
Yet her eyes twinkled
as she imagined herself
rising above the plebian condition,
excitedly shelling out an additional 800
that eats up ¾ of her
tuition of hard-earned money –
investment ghetto kids
cough up for the sake
of looking elite & professional –
in this workingman’s university
where they sell dreams
for all are born equal
in a feudal society
& education, my dear,
is key to grabbing
a piece of the pie
in the sky.

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