Tag Archives: war on terror

Leaving the Land: Geometry and Fear (poem from Alien to Any Skin) and some musings

Today my country of birth, the Philippines, celebrates Independence Day.

Google put this banner up, but being in South Africa it took me a while to work out that it was only visible when you log onto the Google Philippines search engine.

google ph independence day

As a kid, all I remember when that day came was being on holiday. My parents never took me to wherever there might be parades or state activities. I do remember the national flag being displayed on the most prominent window of each house. I have this vague memory that it was more a national decree to do that rather than something citizens just felt like doing. You remember things differently as a kid. Sometimes memory and imagination cross borders. And sometimes children see things as they are (or should be) much clearer than adults would.

Is my country of birth truly independent when it welcomes military forces from another country to wage war? When drones fly over, identifying targets? When the leaders of the land need to consult foreign powers for the country’s own “protection”? When foreign-owned mining companies put up bogus “local owners” just to resources and displace indigenous people?

When you leave the country where your feet first touched soil, you will never return as the same person. But you also do not have to leave in order to see things a different way. It could be as simple as tilting your head or closing your eyes for a moment while you listen to what’s around you. Sometimes you are drawn to something and cannot explain why. The lines on your palms mark the way you close your hand when you sleep or are at rest. How can anyone see them as anything more?

Here is a poem from ALIEN TO ANY SKIN, the first book that my current publisher, UST Publishing House released (back in 2011). I am still very fond of that book for it made me want to get back in to publishing. I can’t wait to see my forthcoming paper child, A THOUSAND EYES.

-o-

Geometry and Fear

i knew someone once
who could read lines

it was a gift she never wanted
to use, unless you begged her
for some glimmer of a future

she said faith should be enough
and seeing the doubt in my eyes
she had to allow geometry
to lead me out of the dark

you will leave your country
stare loneliness in the eye
bury the dead among the living
and resurrect them unwillingly

because your hands are your way
of seeing in the dark
and i laughed
a bitter laughter

that i had
never heard before

October – November 2007
-o-

window

I have a feeling I may have posted this poem before, but no matter. There must be a reason I do not yet understand why it resurfaced into memory. It must be the thick fog that had settled overnight where I now live – and it still has not lifted though it is nearly 11 in the morning.


Finally, SOUND BEFORE WATER gets reviews

I am sure my dear publisher will be glad to know that there are keen readers out there for my work, both in my country of birth and perhaps in other parts of the world. I hope they hasten to put out digital versions of my books. You, my dear readers, can perhaps help by sending a friendly message to UST Publishing House via their Facebook page.

Two reviews of Sound Before Water came out. The first one, written by Rina Angela Corpus, is available online at GMA News. Today, in the Cape Times, literary editor Karin Schimke wrote this:

-o-

KARIN SCHIMKE'S REVIEW Copy of DSCF6709


35 Years for the Innocent, Eternal Profits for the Wicked

This article from The Guardian should be read over and over. Monsters are real. They run governments and feed on our children.


“Operation Cast Lead” is not the Title of a Movie

“Operation Cast Lead” is not the Title of a Movie

After a night of gasping
at fireworks
I nurse the consequences
of champagne.

Somewhere else they are remembering
smoke that takes forever
to clear, the ringing in the ears,
the smell of burnt flesh
among personal belongings.

-o-
“Operation Cast Lead” on Wikipedia (as always, don’t place complete trust on one source, please)


No! No! Noynoy

President Aquino, Foreign Secretary del Rosario and AFP Chief... on Twitpic

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.


Big Ears, Big Clubs, and the Fifth Fleet…Ssshhhh

Bahrain, do the big ears of Washington not hear you?

Here’s part of an article from the Independent. Now tell me they are playing it fair, these so-called do-gooders of NATO and the armed Western powers?

-o-

Bahrain escapes censure by West as crackdown on protesters intensifies 

The Shia were already angry at the ferocious repression by Bahraini security forces of the pro-democracy movement, which had sought to be non-sectarian. After the monarchy had rejected meaningful reform, the wholly Sunni army and security forces started to crush the largely Shia protests on 15 and 16 March. 

The harshness of the government repression is provoking allegations of hypocrisy against Washington, London and Paris. Their mild response to human rights abuses and the Saudi Arabian armed intervention in Bahrain is in stark contrast to their vocal concern for civilians in Libya.

The US and Britain have avoided doing anything that would destabilise Saudi Arabia and the Sunni monarchies in the Gulf, to which they are allied. They are worried about Iran taking advantage of the plight of fellow Shia, although there is no evidence that Iran has any role in fomenting protests despite Bahraini government claims to the contrary. The US has a lot to lose because its Fifth Fleet, responsible for the Gulf and the north of the Indian Ocean, is based in Bahrain.

-o-

from Wikipedia: The Fifth Fleet


Burnt Bridge April 2011 Online Issue

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.