2022 April 1

By Galileo de Guzman Castillo[i]


HARVEST. Oil on canvas. Manila, Philippines. Painting by Darius Yabut.



You, who’ve fed the world with calloused hands

For years have struggled, deprived and starved

Cultivating soils and tilling lands

But remaining landless, dispossessed

On the grounds, you’ve occupied, reclaimed

Have broken chains and torn down the fence

And for this you are silenced and maimed

“It is,” said they, “a crime and offence,

To stand your ground for rights,” a nonsense

Here in the State of Violence rife

With impunity, they kill and hence

You, who have sown seeds and nurtured life

Across lands, waters, forests, you’ve thrived

Among conflagration, entropy

Of Common Home in turmoil and strife

Resist and hope unwaveringly

Reignited solidarities

A movement of movements, with nature

In harmony, for food sovereignty

Expose fractures and seize apertures

From the ashes of broken sinews

You shall rise, take root, and sprout anew


[i] Galileo is a Programme Officer at Focus on the Global South. He wrote this poem to remember the Kidapawan Massacre six years ago on April 1st and as a solidarity contribution to commemorate the International Day of Peasant Struggles on April 17th.