This article is available in Bisaya


by Joven Obrero

Weeks in the headlines
splattered on the front of papers
All that everyone talked about
The storm in the south.
The thunder hardly waned
and lightning like cannons and bombs
Blood and mud fused and flooded
Bodies sprawled on their backs
In the wreckage of the
wrecked mountain
Hope is lost
Of ever finding the lost once again.

Still the alien thirsts for the land
Flooded by his capital and
rained down with his bullets
Pineapple and banana plantations
bear witness
To the hunger and
suffering of the children of the island,
To the fascism of soldiers
Who stand like dogs guarding the interest
Of the companies’ yearning
To make a killing

Many lost lives and limbs
Many more lost farms and homes
Others lost their wits
Wondering why
there is no end in sight
In the darkness of our night

Noynoy pointed his lazy finger at Juan,
Blamed small-scale mining
and illegal logging
While he comfortably sought calm
In the coddling arms of Uncle Sam

The east
looks dark and menacing
foreboding another tempest
a gathering storm more haunting
More powerful than anything in history
A deluge that will wipe away
and demolish
The old putrid barracks
In order to end all
Exploitative and oppressive relations!

None shall be spared from this storm
from the force lying in wait
from the hands of those who toil.

Blood will flood
The people will demand recompense
For the centuries of suffering
And torment
Inflicted by the ruling class
Leap! Move!
The wind is howling
The storm is coming


(Pasa Bilis! Special Issue, December 4, 2022)