let us gather around this table

The word on the street is there’s more bad news coming.
The word on the street is that the people are gonna be marching.
The word on the street is that we’re done with all of the hate and the trolling.
But before we put on our shoes and before we take up our signs
Let us gather around this table and pass around the plates.
Let us gather together and share a cup of communion and unity.
Here is food: the harvest of the earth and of our brows,
And here is wine: the fruit of the vines, dark in its bottle.
Here we are, gathered, and here we pray for strength and grace.
Friends and family, no matter where they are, near and far and all points in between,
Here we are, gathered, and here let us say thanks,
For we are all still together no matter where we each happen to be
And we will give each other the strength and the grace that we need
And we will rise, and fight the good fight — but first, let’s all say thanks.

I had to write these verses.

They buried Ferdinand Marcos among the soldiers and among the heroes today, taking the country by surprise.

They sneaked in the waxen false idol of a corpse, and buried him in hallowed ground, where he did not belong.

I am up in arms. The country is up in arms.

And I wrote this, today, and I don’t know what it is except my feelings are there in the words.

It’s called “Reply to Enjolras” because now we need to build the barricades, and now we need to take our country back.

Reply to Enjolras – PJ Punla – 18 Nov 2016

the grandmother rose and took up her cane.
her hands and her knees trembled, bowed by the weight of the years,
bent by the scars of truncheon and shield.
she turned her back on the gloating news, and stepped out the door.

the woman at her desk rose and made sure she still had an Internet connection.
her fingers tapping out messages: “I’m on my way to the monument,
wait for me, but please stay safe.”
she turned her back on the cowards’ comments, and stepped out the door.

the child clutched at her mother’s hands.
her questions whirled in her mind, questions that she felt she couldn’t ask,
not when her parents looked so sad and grim.
she didn’t know she was turning her back on ignorance when she stepped out the door.

the class rose and left their history books behind.
it was up to them to make history and they all knew how to do it – how to capture it.
they made their signs and they bought their candles.
they turned their backs on the lies about the past, and stepped out the door.

the grandmother, the woman, the child, the class –
they became the family, they became the city, they became one island after another,
one people and one voice on the move, and they spoke words of truth.
they turned their backs on the evil – dead or alive – and they stepped out the door.

…only to wake and hide your face

Bastille – Oblivion

It used to be a red-letter day
Until you used your words like needles and spears
And now all the red has gone from the date
And today is just another day.

I just want to sleep, and not spend my nights coughing and tossing and turning. I just want to sleep, in the hope of waking up to face a new day. One new hour after another to get through, or to make the most of, or to waste, maybe. One new moment after another to make my own.

Can’t look back. Must look forward.

I will try to put together a proper blog post one of these days — I just need to take a few moments to breathe.