Composed by: Ms. Petronila Cleto
Pet as called by her friends was an Investigative Journalist in the Philippines.
She is currently active in community organizing,educating and empowering caregivers and other people thru theatre and writing.
In the subway, it is darker and later than the afternoon
We sit across each other, with an angle of limp light
Which we bridge and on it we meet
Across layers of silences you know very well
So well that their keenly embroidered fabrics soothe you
Even in the wind-ruled deserts of your sleep
So well that their ancient colours descend
From the mountain peaks where memory began
To your trees and fibrous body
Shaped and spent from the day’s work
And also because you have often had no choice
But look from dusty windows where you
And pain have perched together like able sojourners
To gaze at the wind-borne currents and tides
Across these layers and dusty windows
You can look at me, your sister now,
And with eyes declare that somehow, signals are clear
You don’t look away, and so my eager memory sketches you
Who are also a welcome stranger, who have found joy
In being human through another’s non-foreign eyes,
Non-foreign face, non-foreign hands, non-foreign body
You, who can dive into the deep inside the eyes…
Your daughter looks up from her slumber
One eye wondering at my look, but the other
Lost in her own deserts
She must be told!
There are heroes who shine with steadfast beauty
Who have conquered the cliffs and parched lands,
Wrested victory away from the scornful winds of change
They are mirrors to the inner truth:
That the strong heart’s greatness transcends man-made
Terrors and disasters!
We know we consider her future
As we look into each other’s lives
We know there are enormous roots greater than us
Entangling us, reaching out for our blood,
For the stems and buds of our integrity
But we know their stranglehold grows weaker
As ancient spirits grow in wisdom together!
Yes, even here, where the city has jungles
Strewn with sharp and cruel teeth of modern lies!
And so we cannot go each her way, weeping
Beating drums dolorously into the distance –
We will use sturdy bridges of truth
To cross all distances and abysses
Prepare the soil, very like our ancients,
And build terraces to protect the land
Where a new and greater world will grow.