Heaven watch the Philippines.
from the song of Imelda Marcos in the film, 'Imelda'
Something reminds me
in the homeland.
The riots, for instance.
Or the demonstrations that know
no bound, from street to street
until the stones on pavements
dry out and we convert the stones
to weapons for the slingshots.
Or the avenues vomitting people
as in vengeance, their hands
firm on placards
that in their red silence shouted:
"Down with dictators!
Down with fascists!
Down with imperialists!
Down with puppets!
Down with military regimes!
Down with poetry kowtowing to thieves!"
I do not know what can be raised here
when clamor is voice learned
and the people verbalize their
want for rice, not a dream
of pastries or bagel or croissant
whose fancy names
the masses of our people
And the Italian masters, you say,
some Boticelli we do not know
whose landscape of pain
is a clean line of spring or snow
or some grand ladies
in their gold and brocade and diamond
their fingers the condominiums
of their husbands' greed and lust.
Or the cantor in his tenor
singing about the sun in its abundance,
shining brightly in lands
owned by friars and their queridas
or their substitutes in conference rooms
for the elect, their plans about saving us
whole-scale, in one full tango of a dance.
But there is one here
in the forefathers' land
that we do not know: the storms that
in their quick hand erode our view
of mountains and landscapes
and wind dancing with young leaves
in an afternoon glow of a rich hue
of orange and purple and then turning
into the azure of seas we dream of crossing
so we can see our own more fully,
away from the morning news
of rape of leaders against rights
bodies souls minds and decency.
As it is, we keep the singing
so we can temp the birds to fly
and challenge the skies
with their cotton clouds
that move with the earth and sun.
As it is, here always is the permanent
remembrance of things
that are yet to come.
A Solver Agcaoili