Four Poems


You are my story

the barrio is not about to sleep
when we arrive that evening
kerosene lamps were alight
seen from the half-closed windows
among those small peasant huts
clinging along the slope.

our squad of 12 people approached
the front yard of Tatay Endo’s house
dogs barked briefly then replaced
by slight moans and wagging tails as our
lead man gently tapped one on its head
people numbering 25 to 30 were there,
for a gathering and sharing of common
dinner with the mutual aid team
that helped farm work that day
there were native food and drinks
folks aren’t surprise with our presence
we were with some of them at the farmlands
earlier this afternoon, and helped in the farm work
they gave us space in the yard,
as we settled ourselves and greet them all
a good nice and good evening
there were laughters, joyful singing…

I took my corner space in the yard,
then, quickly, teens— boys and girls
and some older ones gathered around me,
looking at me in the eyes-
I don’t have fire in my eyes
or my mouth blows fire like magicians
or like magical dragons
then they looked at the whole of me
seeing my bandoleer, and rifle
on my shoulder,
“a woman Red warrior!”
an old woman said as she smiles
reaching out my arms for a handshake
“hey, folks,” she said in a louder voice
to get people’s attention
“Let’s welcome this woman Red warrior
and let’s hear her stories!”

there was a brief silence
this was my first time to come over
this place, and I know this village
is part of a guerrilla base
war is too familiar with them
they are launching it and it’s me
joining them…
I looked at them, smiled and said:
“you are my story!”

it has just began.

* * *

Violence against the people and children

with claim stubs
and empty plates in hands
children and evacuees
are queuing for food
their homes were destroyed
by a super typhoon,
but there were no food
at the front of line,
later, news came out
hundreds of sacks of rice
were discovered rotten
and wasted …

* * *

I Am Rising – II

when I tell my stories
they accuse me of telling lies
isn’t all gods and heroes even villains
born/came from a woman?
they wanted to cage me like a bird,
at home, the house, the office
and be pleasant to their eyes
they wanted to shut my mouth
and hated the curls of my lips…

when i tell about myself
they said, am bragging
isn’t it kingdoms can’t rise and fall
without mix of women’s wits?
they can’t see it –
men’s clan, church, and state
they wanted me in cage
and obey their whims…

but I am a woman
I have millions of reasons to rise
with those other modern slaves
women, men, and Mxs
I rise, we rise!

* * *

Violence of silence

we are universally ridiculed as gossipers
trivial, so low, and zero-value,
better for us, to be silent, they say,
but gossips within institutional church
becomes a credo, a litany of salvation
gossips among traditional politicians
becomes a law, a house bill changing street
names, or nothing at all, like BS Aquino
gossips among bourgeois economists
becomes a theory, neoliberalism.


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