In relation to recent times, farmers at the Hacienda Luisita in Tarlac have been openly fighting for their rights by staging highly publicized strikes appealing to proprietors for higher compensation. Understanding these workers’ circumstances has put many to the test, as their pleas for change have also resulted in violent outrage form both parties. Through this poem, we are challenged to see the truth behind the matter, and therefore gain a more accurate perception of the experiences farmers deal with every day.
Rachel De Mesa
FARMINGEugenio R. Corpus III
It wasn't the day when we're supposed to play
the games childhood memories molded
from Jacinto St. to Banadero St.
making dreams on the piles of hay,
the blonde complexion of a blithesome day
where the wind would blow
and come the furious breathe
of summer breeze in an afternoon delight.
A bloater on the table, with spoon and fork
waiting for everybody, to arrive and smile
in glee even if perspiration define their shirts
with blisters of hunger gurgling
inside the corners of their stomachs.
We were a family then
with songs and hymns, I recall,
singing out of tunes
the most comforting song
accompanied by unstringed
The visage of darkening clouds
never appear on the afternoon,
freedom of speech calorifica,
twisted fist raised to heaven
We were children then
young with noble hearts
and the sight of darkness
encourages us to dream
with our eyes staring away form the glint
of the reshaping horizon
now hand painted by black clouds
and evaporated coffee cups.
The grasses were brown,
the cretaceous soil is dry
a familiar bird of glossy black plumage
roam the openness of the sky
with its conical bill
and harsh cry,
blocking my view of the angry sun.
Looking for oxygen but with
a lighter on hand
the etiquette of the afternoon circumnavigates
on the desirous fire, the rice stalks burn,
we were there, holding hands