(Poem + art) we only live where lightning burned the soil by Maya Daniel

Art by Maya Daniel
Art by Maya Daniel

we can’t live out of our lands,
we only live where lightning burned the soil
our hearts beat that anybody just can’t understand
how can we live out of our lands
you see us as settlers around your camp
lost in your “modernity” of bombs, rifles,
planes and choppers, and troops
who hears nothing but commands
why don’t you have that gentleness
even in simple speech?
you can’t conquer souls by force, or by fears,
our land is for life and not for your unjust wars
kill us. and our sons and daughters
will seek on you, still holding on those
images of you and your sons, too, in their memories
is that holding to a lost strand of our culture?
no, you tried to take us out of a little space here, of a life,
you are telling us of your culture, of your civility
for us, it is nothing, but death
we have to defend ourselves
and you call it “terrorism”


from the point of view of the Tumanduk people on how they are treated by landgrabbers as their 33,310 hectares of ancestral lands (it’s about 12% of the total land area of Capiz province) was declared as an army reservation (Presidential Proclamation #67 by Diosdado Macapagal in 1962) for a training camp and wargames, and also for Balikatan exercises of the US and AFP troops.

Read Meet Mago Contributor Maya Daniel.

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Love this!