I Hate Found Poems and I Do Not Claim This One
words by Gabriel Cardinoza, formatting by Jim Pascual Agustin
Five-year-old Danica Mae
Garcia, who was felled
last week by a bullet intended
for her grandfather, was buried
at the public cemetery here
on Wednesday. Some 150 relatives
and neighbors joined the funeral
procession. They waded in floodwater
that rose by half a meter
on a 100-meter stretch
of the road from Danica’s house
at Barangay Mayombo beside Pantal River,
which had been swollen
due to monsoon rain
and high tide in the past days.
No government official showed up
at the burial of the collateral damage
in President Duterte’s
war on illegal drugs.
1 Comment | tags: collateral damage, Danica Mae, Danica Mae Garcia, EJK, extrajudicial killings, Gabriel Cardinoza, Justice, murders, terrorist Duterte, war on drugs | posted in Asia, Filipino poetry, Filipino-South African, Fragments and Moments, Influences, Jim Pascual Agustin, poetry, terrorism, Uncategorized
Thank you to Rappler for convincing Aiza Seguerra, newly-appointed by Philippine President Duterte as National Youth Commission Secretary, to read with much delight my rather old poem, “Litel Mis Pilipings.” I’m still working on the translation of the poem for a wider audience. I performed the poem myself many times way back in the early 1990s, to the disbelief and huge amusement of the various audiences who were (un?)fortunate enough be there. I’ll try and post an audio recording of my recent attempt to recreate those times. Or maybe not.
HERE IS A LINK to Aiza’s reading
Aiza has an interesting background, including ending up as a runner-up in the very contest I tackle in the poem.
(UPDATE: I posted on SOUNDCLOUD a scratchy recording of my own reading I did today.)
Aiza, if you happen to read this blog post, I hope you find the following poem I have just written, “Danica May,” worth your while.
Hindi kailanman lalapag malapit sa iyong barangay
ang helikopter ng Presidente. Hindi siya kailanman
maglalakad patungo sa bahay ng iyong ina, o magpapagpag
ng alikabok sa sapatos bago humakbang papasok ng pintuan.
Hindi kailanman hahagurin ng kanyang tingin kung saan mo
dating itinatabi ang iyong mga laruan. Hindi magmamabagal
ang kanyang mga mata pagtanaw sa mga damit mong nakasabit o tiklop na nakahimlay, ngayon ay hiwalay sa labada ng pamilya. Hindi niya tatanungin
kung ano ang pleybor ng paborito mong ays krim,
o kung paano ka humawak ng krayola,
o kung tinatakpan mo ng palad
ang iyong bibig tuwing matatawa.
Walang halaga ang ano pa man na aking sabihin,
lalo na sa iyo. Kahit pa man tukuyin kong hindi mga bala
ang kumitil sa iyong buhay, kundi mga salita.
Mumunting piraso lamang ng bakal
ang mga bala na maaari sanang naging pintuan
ng laruan mong kotse, o mga butones
ng damit na hindi mo na maisusuot
mula sa araw na ito.
LINK TO A HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH article
LINK TO A RELATED PIECE ON MATANGMANOK
5 Comments | tags: Aiza Seguerra, children, collateral damage, crossfire, Danica Mae, Danica Mae Garcia, Duterte, EJK, extrajudicial killings, human rights, human rights violations, Jim Pascual Agustin, Litel Mis Pilipings, Philippines, poetry, Rappler | posted in Asia, Filipino poetry, Filipino-South African, Jim Pascual Agustin, Mga Tula / Poetry, poetry, politics, terrorism, Uncategorized