My country of birth has an incoming president who won by garnering less than 40% of the votes. It can be said that over 60% of the voting population did not choose him, and when he gains control of the country this many people will be watching his every move, hoping all their fears be proven wrong. More than a month away from being sworn in, he mouths the same things during his notorious campaign. The ghosts of those killed by the so-called Davao Death Squads (documented by international agency Human Rights Watch
and the country’s own Commission on Human Rights) will continue to haunt him until justice is done.
One thing that seems to have forced even his own supporters to declare disagreement with him even this early has to do with the remains of the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos. The incoming president apparently sees him as worthy of being buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery. The public – perhaps more aware of that dark part of the country’s history – has started various campaigns to fight this utter disrespect for the countless victims of Martial Law. One of the campaigns is on Change.org. Here is the LINK
. Please consider signing it and then sharing the petition link.
In showing my support, I am posting this poem which appeared in my book ALIEN TO ANY SKIN
(University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, 2011). My poem is nothing compared to what the people of the Philippines suffered under the rule of the dictator, his family, and various cronies.
Tracks on Grasslands
It begins with that one step. A boot
on the slenderest blade
of grass. The faintest
crunch of bright green veins
nearly invisible to your eye.
But it happens. That breaking.
It happens again and again
as you move on, forcing down
other blades of grass,
leaving your tracks,
making a path of near
you think is yours
And when you encounter
thicker grass that dare
to keep you out,
you make them sing
with that sharpened edge.
You do this in the dark.
You do this mostly in the dark.
Leave a comment | tags: Alien to Any Skin, dictator, Ferdinand Marcos, Filipino poetry in English, Jim Pascual Agustin, Martial Law, terrorism, UST Publishing House, violence | posted in Alien to Any Skin, Filipino poetry, Filipino-South African, Fragments and Moments, Influences, politics, Uncategorized
Cluster bombs being dropped on Gaza by Israel (image from Wikipedia)
Three poems from Sound Before Water have been posted on Dead Snakes. Please click THIS LINK to read them. Posting a comment (or three) will help encourage the editors to keep up their good work.
Thank you, Stephen, for making room for my work.
Leave a comment | tags: Gaza, human rights, human rights violations, Israel, Jim Pascual Agustin, murder of civilians, Palestine, Sound Before Water, terrorism, terrorist state, terrorist state of Israel, UST Publishing House | posted in Fragments and Moments, Imperialism, Influences, Life in a different world, Mga Tula / Poetry, Middle East, poetry, politics, Sound Before Water, terrorism, Uncategorized
Lack of Logic Behind Dropping Bombs to Save a Population
Will we ever know the truth? Misinformation on all sides. Meanwhile, those who are directly affected are practically helpless.
The term “terrorist” should include huge corporations and powerful nations that profit on grief and destruction.
Leave a comment | tags: Syria, terrorism, US | posted in Uncategorized
This news item is more than worrying.
Bigger US Military Role in the Philippines Sought
Sought by whom? For what? And to think the US is in huge economic trouble, yet they keep expanding their military reach. One wonders.
The article does not mention how, through many decades, there had been huge resistance to US the military presence in the country. The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 forced the US to abandon its controversial military bases.
Here is a poem I wrote in 1991 and appears in Alien to Any Skin.
The Memory of Snow
When ash falls like snow
(though snow we’ve never had
and snow I’ve never seen)
why do we remember America?
Is it Sesame Street outside
where racism is non-existent
and the eagle is a big yellow bird
talking to a rag in a can?
I do not know what
they’ve taught us to forget.
Yet the memory of snow persists.
Walking on whitened streets
I thought of America moving out
of the volcano’s danger zone
leaving my ancient sisters and brothers
curled up in their huts
like so much pubic hair.
I cannot read the earth,
but this much I know:
the world will not end.
There still is so much to unlearn
like fabricated memories
of America where it snows
and children make snowballs
and snowmen with carrot noses.
It is ash that falls, not snow.
I must learn to tell the difference.
Collapsed hangars at Clark Air Base after Mount Pinatubo’s eruption in 1991. Source: Wikipedia
1 Comment | tags: Alien to Any Skin, human rights violations, Jim Pascual Agustin, Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, Southeast Asia, terrorism, US military, US Military Bases | posted in Asia, Capitalism's greed, environment, Fragments and Moments, Imperialism, Literary News & Articles, North America, poetry, politics, Silly Babble, Uncategorized
Read two articles from the Mail & Guardian online that should scare all those who think international law can protect sovereign countries and their population from a special breed of Vampires.
Mbeki: We should learn from Libya’s experiences
Recent events in Libya should raise alarm bells about the threat to Africa’s hard won right to self-determination, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Saturday.
Addressing the Law Society of the Northern Provinces in Sun City, Mbeki said it “seemed obvious” that a few powerful countries were seeking to use the council to pursue their selfish interests.
They were also determined to behave according to the principle and practice that “might is right” and to sideline the principle of self-determination.
“I must state this categorically that those who have sought to manufacture a particular outcome out of the conflict in Libya have propagated a poisonous canard aimed at discrediting African and African Union (AU) opposition to the Libyan debacle.”
He said this was done on the basis that the AU and the rest of “us” had been “bought by Colonel Gadaffi with petro-dollars”, and felt obliged to defend his continued misrule.
He said all known means of disinformation was being bandied about, included an argument that Gadaffi’s Libya had supported the ANC during the apartheid struggle.
“The incontrovertible fact is that during this whole period, Libya did not give the ANC [African National Congress] even one cent, did not train even one of our military combatants and did not supply us with even one bullet…
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.
West rushes to grab its Libya reward
Britain’s new defence secretary, Philip Hammon, announced that British companies should “pack their suitcases” and head to Libya to snap up lucrative reconstruction contracts.
It all sounds disturbingly familiar. Think of the American companies streaming into Iraq to aid the “reconstruction effort” after the invasion. If there was any doubt, this modus operandi may soon define what seems no more than a new form of neocolonialism in the Middle East. American, Nato (or both) armies will destroy your country under the guise of ushering in democracy, and Western companies will assume the lion’s share of contracts to build it up again.
And with Libya’s National Transitional Council having already announced it would “reward” those countries that were in its corner during the “revolution”, it’s anyone’s guess who will be the biggest of the war profiteers.
Whereas in the past Gaddafi’s Libya was only dealing with China, Russia and Italy, the playing field has now been levelled, in a manner of speaking. Though it has portrayed itself as having had only a “back-room” role in toppling Gaddafi, the United States wants to be the number-one oil buyer from Libya, to compensate for its decades of deprivation of Libyan oil. There can be no doubt that in due course we will see that the US will want a far bigger cut of Libyan oil supplies than it is currently letting on.
It will be said in the future that the end justified the means: the removal of a hated dictator who terrorised his own people for four decades. This may be so, and nobody in their right mind could endorse what the colonel did to Libya. But there are some questions to be asked about the selective morality at play here.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE ARTICLE.
Please proceed to the nearest toilet to throw up. Now pull yourself together and fight the propaganda machine of these Vampires.
Leave a comment | tags: Africa, Bahrain, contractors, destruction, human rights, Imperialism, intervention, Libya, Moammar Gaddafi, NATO, Saudi Arabia, sovereignty, terrorism, Thabo Mbeki, twilight movies, UK, US, US Bases, vampires, Western military power | posted in Africa, Asia, Capitalism's greed, environment, Europe, Fragments and Moments, Imperialism, Influences, Life in a different world, Middle East, North America, politics, Sanaysay / Essays, terrorism
Philippine President Benigno (Noynoy) Aquino III made a mockery of the nation’s constitution by not just allowing a nuclear-powered ship into our territorial waters. He even boarded it and had smiling photos taken!
The ship is no ordinary nuclear weapons carrier. The USS Carl Vinson is apparently the one that took Osama Bin Laden’s body (or what was declared by Washington, following the murder in utter violation of international law, among other atrocities that are being ignored by the media) and dropped it somewhere in the North Arabian Sea.
Here is a link to the full article.
Mr. President, please review your actions. It took the eruption of a volcano to finally get rid of US Military presence in our country, and here you are all smiles. I wonder if you hugged one of the nuclear weapons like it was a teddy bear. Cute.
Leave a comment | tags: American terrorism, International Law, media lies, murder, Noynoy Aquino, Osama Bin Laden, Philippines, President Aquino, territorial violation, terrorism, United States, USS Carl Vinson, VFA, Visiting Forces Agreement, war on terror | posted in Asia, Imperialism, North America, politics, terrorism
Two poems from my book Alien to Any Skin got accepted by Burnt Bridge Online. A new poem, “Imagining Crumbs,” was also accepted. You get a free PDF download of the issue.
Leave a comment | tags: Alien to Any Skin, Baha-bahagdang Karupukan, Burnt Bridge, coalition of the willing, human rights, human rights violations, Jim Pascual Agustin, murder of civilians, Philippines, terrorism, United States, UST Publishing House, war on terror | posted in Asia, Capitalism's greed, environment, Fragments and Moments, Influences, Life in a different world, Literary News & Articles, Mga Tula / Poetry, North America, poetry, politics, terrorism
As much as I admire pop bands like Faithless, Gorillaz (love them!), Carlos Santana, Elvis Costello, The Pixies, Gil Scott Heron, Devendra Banhart, Snoop Dogg, and The Klaxons (the list goes on) who declare their reluctance to perform in Israel, there might be another option.
It is certainly a brave thing to say no to your fans and to high-level exposure, not to mention the big bucks. It might be braver to go there and tell the audience that ticket sales will be donated to pay for much needed medical supplies for the people of Gaza. Now that would be something else.
WHY FAITHLESS ARE GIVING ISRAEL A MISS
8 Comments | tags: Carlos Santana, Devendra Banhart, Elvis Costello, Faithless, Gaza, Gil Scott Heron, Gorillaz, human rights, injustice, Israel, Israeli apartheid, Snoop Dogg, terrorism, The Klaxons, The Pixies | posted in Europe, Fragments and Moments, Imperialism, Middle East, politics
‘What in the World?’ is an Irish series of tv documentaries presented and produced by Peadar King. (See also http://kmfproductions.net) In this episode, Peadar King travels to Mauritius to meet the original inhabitants of the Chagos Islands (Indian Ocean). The Chagos Islanders were secretly and brutally expelled from their homeland by British governments in the late 1960s and early 1970s, to make way for an American military base on the main island of Diego Garcia. For more information and updates on the plight of the Chagossians, please visit the website of the UK Chagos Support Association at http://www.chagossupport.org.uk.
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION – GO TO http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/let-the-chagos-islanders-return-home.html
I first posted the following poem in May 2009. I hope you don’t mind a second read.
Rounding Up The Dogs of the Children Who Died of Sadness
Monsters came one day, dressed
in stiff uniforms. They were fed
largely on red meat and so had grown
like giants compared to the islanders.
They scarred the land as they drove,
engines growling like hungry beasts,
churning sand and dust into the terrified
eyes of the children. Those little
Brown arms grew powerless at the sight
of fists clutching the collars of their pets.
Never before had they seen such dark
nightmares. The monsters had come
To gather all the dogs of the island.
They were taken amid screams and cries,
hearts cracking like husked coconuts
flung against jagged rocks.
Leave a comment | tags: Chagos Islanders Day, Chagos Islanders' Rights, human rights, Justice, terrorism, UK Imperialism, US Military Bases, violation of human rights | posted in Europe, Influences, North America, politics, terrorism, Uncategorized