The Breath of Sparrows
for Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
So it has arrived, the news
of your departure. Last night
I dreamt I was in the house
of my mentor, as a frequent guest
who took a desk by the window.
A towering tree with red
and yellow flowers as big as hands,
the breeze slipping between each
petal finger. I went to his room
to ask the name of that tree.
He lay on his bed, resting
with eyes closed but aware
of the birds weighing down
the branches, leaves caressing
the roof. The breath of sparrows
like his own. There was no need to name
the tree, no need to name anything
at all at that moment. I bid him thanks
before leaving, my footsteps drowning
in sparrow wings.
This will be a short one. Just a link to an open letter. Wikileaks has managed to do. Funny how in this case those who shout TERRORISTS! the loudest seem to have the bloodiest hands. A new brand of squirty handwash should be invented. Let’s call it Lady Macbeth, shall we?
Wikileaks: the emperor has no clothes
Corazon C. Aquino, Philippine President from 1986 to 1992, passed away on 1 August 2009. I was a high school student in the 1980s when she was thrust in the limelight soon after the assassination of her husband, Benigno Aquino. People Power would never have been the miracle it was if Cory had not stepped up to challenge the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos.
This Time article is a good introduction to Cory’s life.
And this more personal article from Paulynn Paredes Sicam is very touching. There is a video interview with Jessica Soho on the same page.
I have my own memories of those days and the shaky years that followed the transition from dictatorship to democracy. It will take me a long time to unravel them.
For other recent articles on the late President, visit the homepage.