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His words are applicable to all indigenous people who have lost their ancestral lands ….
There is something about this poem that plucks the heartstrings.
There’s something about
a golden liquid afternoon
quietly settling down
fading away too soon,
and the sight of three young boys
laughing and walking together
seemingly skipping along
the edge of forever.
Their eager feet pushing forward
in that moment, in that interlude
untouched by sorrow, filled with youth,
they seemed like conquerors of tomorrow.
And this picture perfect drop of reality,
tugged on some forgotten corner of my heart,
where dreams float about
like the dry leaves of autumn
crumbling to pieces …
in a little girl’s hand,
during a once
perfect golden afternoon
in a far away distant land ….
I’ve seen it time and time again — people rolling their eyes at the mere mention of the word feminism, and I’ve heard young women nowadays say that feminism is not needed anymore because women have come of age already. Hmmm … then I think, they should read this.
The year is 2014. You are a white Western woman. You wake up in the morning in a comfortably sized house or flat. You have a full or part-time job that enables you to pay your rent or mortgage. You have been to school and maybe even college or university as well. You can read and write and count. You own a car or have a driver’s licence. You have enough money in your own bank account to feed and clothe yourself. You have access to the Internet. You can vote. You have a boyfriend or girlfriend of your choosing, who you can also marry if you want to, and raise a family with. You walk down the street wearing whatever you feel like wearing. You can go to bars and clubs and sleep with whomever you want.
Your world is full of freedom and possibility.
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I just read a post by Fashion Pulis right now about the death of Dale, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. In my opinion, Fashion Pulis you are heartless! How dare you treat the memory of Dale this way. How can you be so self-serving?
Everyone is mourning Dale’s tragic death right now, but you don’t care about that. You just care about the traffic your post will generate in your blog — simply put, you just don’t care about Dale at all.The poor soul jumped to his death already — everyone is mourning him. His family, his friends and his lover are all lost and broken right now. They are vulnerable and this is not helping them. Oh I’m sorry, I stand corrected, not everyone is mourning Dale, because obviously you’re not.
Do you know the amount of depression Dale must have felt for him to commit suicide? I’m assuming you read his last post in FB where he clearly said that, “Love can kill”. When I read that, my heart bled for him and we were not even that close to each other. But I sincerely cried for him, because I could imagine how much he must have been hurting during that time. He probably felt so alone and he probably had no one he could open up to, so he just lost all hope …. Dale was probably a sensitive soul, and I’m sure he won’t appreciate you publicly posting his final messages to his lover in your site. Do you know what you did? It was like getting Dale’s remains from his resting place and hanging his corpse up in public for everyone to see, peruse or even ridicule.You made a spectacle of his death. You killed him again.
Some time ago, a student of mine jumped off a building and I was depressed. I felt numb and broken, because as an educator, I truly treat my students as my extended children. If I was broken then, that student’s family was even more devastated. I can imagine that Dale’s family is going through the same difficult time right now. I know that they are in pain, that what-if thoughts are gnawing at their minds, that they are missing Dale and there’s an emptiness in them that can never be filled again. Did you even think about that before you posted those messages and decided that they would be such juicy gossip to share with the World Wide Web? Did you even respect the grief they are going through right now? You didn’t, did you? To you, Dale’s story is just another statistic in your blog traffic. How cold. How sad.
Fashion Pulis, I have a question to ask you — where is your heart? You should know better, you teach in De La Salle University (I used to teach there) and is this what you teach your students — to disrespect the memory of dead people? Make money out of them? Be callous and ignore the pain and suffering of others as long as they will benefit from them in the long run? Are those the values you are imparting to them? Then I pity your students and I pity De La Salle University as well.
De La Salle University, I also have a question for you — are these the educators you have? Aren’t you supposed to be a Christian school that stands up for morality and values — then why do your tolerate this? Everyone knows that Fashion Pulis destroyed the reputation of countless of people already, and you probably know that DLSU, and if you’re not doing something about that, then shame on you too.
bencab, casualties of war, charlotte de guzman, Creative writing, death, death of a son distress, destruction caused by war, Filipino poetry in English, hurt, Life, loneliness, mother losing a son, pain, Poem, Poetry, saintcharlotte, sanctuary, war, woman in distress
Twilight saw them coming.
Knocking our door down.
Shadowy figures ….
Men in shadows … shadows of men —
Reaching, dark arms enveloping,
my precious boy.
They dragged him out — screaming!
Into war, into darkness, into the night —
the womb of madness that bears no light.
Traitor to the people, they spat out.
Snatching his dog tag,
they broke him down.
Made him kiss the ground.
They roared, hitting him.
I begged and I cried,
for my son,
my precious boy ….
who was six pounds when he was born.
A tiny baby with innocent brown eyes,
who barely made me sleep with his cries.
My precious boy,
who started walking at eight months old,
who curiously touched and tasted everything,
while I watched the wonder in his eyes unfold.
who hugged and kissed me when I got home,
and told me stories about his friends,
and how much of his allowance did he spend.
My precious boy,
who fell down from a tree when he was eight,
who was always running late,
and chucked the veggies on his plate.
who fell in love at eighteen,
got his heart broken by the Prom Queen,
and then decided that he’d join the Marines.
My precious boy,
who told me he loved me,
that he’d take care of his Mama when she is old,
who would patiently fetch me a coat when I was cold.
My son ….
They never knew that about him.
They only saw what they wanted —
My son is the brass and the trim.
Blinded by their cause, locked up in hate,
they refused to see the man inside.
These shadows of men —
stood dim and grim.
Passing judgment, passing sentence.
Reducing men to just two kinds.
And my son, my precious boy,
for them, belongs to the other side.
They found me cradling him.
My tears bathing him.
His rotting body in my embrace,
while I sang his favorite lullaby
from his childhood days.
My son, my precious boy ….
They brutalized him — in front of me,
like he wasn’t human, like he was a nobody.
He was my son.
My precious boy … slowly died ….
And when the light went out of his eyes,
everything, for me, went dark inside.
“Woman in Distress” by Benedicto Cabrera aka Bencab. National Museum, Manila.
The painting portrays a woman silently suffering because of poverty. Although it is tackling a different subject, I still decided to use it for this poem, because one can palpably feel the pain, loneliness and hurt emanating from this artwork. I thought that such a visual presentation of said emotions is apt for the tone of my poem.
all over the place.
Slivers of the same story.
Both of them hurting.
Both of them feeling sorry.
Heart’s breath … heart’s death.
His side, her views.
What is true?
Not knowing how to stop
or where to start.
Until finally, bleeding fast,
they can only wonder.
How it all began?
How they both could,
but chose not to.
How easy it is to lash out,
amidst the cries and the shouts.
How easy to ignore the other,
and put the blame on another.
So they gather shards,
hitting … again and again.
Wound upon wound,
until they are both scarred.
Shredded souls … empty souls.
Nothing gained … Nothing remained.
Nothing to pick up ….
And yet … they still won’t stop.
Broken …. pieces —
all over the place —
…. Heartbeat ceases ….
Artwork is included in the gallery of Leni Van Der Steen. It is entitled, “Heartbreak Hotel” (http://www.kunstinvlaanderen.com/?p=1288)