Against the Monster on the Land

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For centuries the monster on the land
Has gorged himself in flesh and blood.
Now he wields a brittle rusty sword
And still casts a spell with a cross.

We go with the children of wrath
And prepare a trap across his path:
A net of vine holding a carpet of leaves
Covers the pit full of bamboo spears.

When he stumbles into the hungry hole
And raves and withers among the poles
He shall see the children of the soil
Casting upon him buckets of flaming oil

The night shall flee from the flames.
These shall rage until the break of day
And emerge with the glory of the sun.
The monster shall have been gone.


His sword shall break by a hammer blow
On a rock from which a sweet spring flows.
The fragments of the sword we shall gather
To fashion new things by the hammer.

The children of the soil shall be freed
Of yoke and terror in their country
They shall stand against any monster
And win by wit and engulfing number.

The festival of the children of the soil
Is the festival of all children of toil.
We joyously sing and dance with them
As the ancient monster comes to an end.

17 March 1978

* * *

The Central Plains

I love the green expanse of ricefields,
The sunlight that strikes it reveals
The myriads of golden beads.
I love the sturdy stand of the canefields,
The sunlight that strikes it reveals
The golden wands of sweetness.

The breeze sweeping the plain carries
The rhythm of toil of peasants and farm workers.
I love the clangor on the road and in shops
As workers make do with some machines.
I love the blue mountains yonder;
They evince hope to all the toilers.

15 August 1978

* * *

What Makes a Hero

It is not the manner of death
That makes a hero.
It is the meaning of life drawn
From the struggles against the foe.

There is the hero who dies on the battlefield.
There is the hero who dies of hunger and disease.
There is the hero who dies of some accident.
There is the hero who dies of old age.

Whatever is the manner of death,
There is the common denominator:
A hero serves the people
To his very last breath.

10 December 1977

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