2022 May 14

By Galileo de Guzman Castillo[i]


MAY DAY MAYDAY. The calm before the storm. EDSA, Quezon City, Philippines. 2022 May 1. Photo by Galileo de Guzman Castillo.


Shall this be the terminus or high time

Of harsh reckonings and new beginnings?

Resonant, dissonant reason or rhyme

Disconnected, unreal imaginings

And permanent conflicts, contradictions

Between those who raze and erase and mar

And those who build and rebuild foundations,

The universal and particular

In the State of Unrest and Restlessness,

They came from the streets and back to the streets

They go, hitting the dusty wilderness

Where the seeds are entangled in the weeds

Of deceit, they’ve fallen on stony ground, 

To be scorched and withered, engulfed and drowned.

Shall this be the tipping or turning point,

The dying gasp or the defiant breath?

With opium poison, smear and anoint

Chips off old blocks for a pretend reset

Of cycling everyday tribulations,

While toiling endlessly and set at naught

With hubris, spurning repudiations

Of out-of-touch-ness and dull afterthought

By disenchanted, yesteryear forebodes

They came from the streets and back to the streets

They go, marching along the dark crossroads

Where the watershed marks itself and meets

The monsoon winds of the Great Forsaken 

Rage in the eye of the storm, awaken.


[i] Galileo is a Programme Officer at Focus on the Global South. He wrote this poem one rainy morning in the aftermath of the 2022 Philippine general election.