LATE BLOOMS: That Long September

Long ago it was in September
when I had yet not one grey hair,
the Man in Malacañang seized absolute power
and on the country unleashed a nightmare.

In the name of saving the Republic and democracy,
padlock Congress and jail critics did he;
hijacked the Constitutional Convention brazenly
to give his despotic rule a mantle of legitimacy.

The media was muzzled, nay, controlled
to sing paeans to the New Society so-called
while cronies on loot feasted and fearsome men with guns ruled
as the voiceless masses suffered miseries and indignities untold.

Long did the darkness of that September prevail,
a long despicable night with many stories to tell
of how the powerful with impunity abused their power
and did blatantly steal, insatiable in their greed to get richer still.

Yet through that dreadful night when brutal might became right,
there were those who dared rage against the dying of the light,
a thousand Davids who against a fierce Goliath audaciously did fight,
living the life of the hunted, some captured and tortured, others laying down their life.

After fourteen years nearly
the September was ended in February
by an enraged people wielding roses and rosary
and the dictator and his family driven away.

That long dark September’s nightmare is now but a memory
recalled and retold by senior or nearly-senior citizens like me,
but may such memory with us not just fade away,
or be replaced by a false memory crafted by those who would revise history.

Hold on to that memory we must, to not repeat blunders of the past.
Hold on to that memory we must, to honor those who fell in the dusk.
Hold on to that memory we must, to constantly remind ourselves of the task
to uphold the freedom and dignity even of the least among us.
Hold on that memory we must, hold on to that memory we must!

ERIC S.B. LIBRE
22 September 2015