Song of the Martyrs



2nd Prize, 2010 San Agustin Writers Workshop Poetry Competition, English Category

(To the victims of the 2009 Maguindanao massacre,

be they remembered)

And the Gods asked,

What do martyrs do

when struck by thunder?

They answered,

We walk alone,

alone over the ocean’s slumber

guided by a thousand lights

reflected on black water.

Only the waves

serve as our pathway

on our flight to the stars

in the endless horizon.

Our feet held afloat

in the absence of all weight and gravity

just like the dead fishes

floating soundly at sea.

From the bloodstains we have left

to the wounds and bullets in our flesh,

we are cleansed by the ocean’s salt

freed from all evils of this earth.

Human as we are,

we have been betrayed,

abandoned and forgotten by the promises

of this land we’ve once believed in.

As the call to serve the people

we have answered,

the call to face eternity

now awaits us.


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