Festive news stories: wrap them up in poetry and send them to poetry24ed@gmail.com

Monday, 1 January 2018

Two for New Year's Day

Self-defense

The slums are a-bleeding: “Drug pushers shot it out; police gunned them down,” per official reports.

Thousands of drug pushers in thousands of separate "encounters", each “attempted to outdraw
and out-shoot” well-trained and numerically-superior policemen (with some
imported from the president's home city from down south
to perform their special cleansing job
in so-called Imperial Manila.)

And it goes on, the slaughter
of small criminals
along the margins,
while most drug lords
ensconced in mansions,
inside exclusive subdivisions,
still rake in their profits.

© Karlo Sevilla



Cold Stats

"A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic." 
                                 – allegedly from heavily mustached genocidal 20th century dictator


Beyond lovers, family, friends, (close) neighbors: how much one heart bleeds for another?
(Or how far a heart falls for—dare we say it?—suffering humanity?)

The casualties on TV news, how much empathy? (And that claim of "loving the masses"...
what percentage of love and what percentage of the masses? Is it an all-or-nothing thing?)

Says the news about the Rohingya:

“An estimated 830,000 people now live on the border…6,700 deaths from violence…”

“…Mumtaz says she was dragged to a village house and raped by soldiers…”

“…one-year-old daughter Sohaifa thrown on a fire while she was still alive…”

Sad, but still no Agony in the Garden for me, no sweating of blood for sinful humanity.

(A "little" heart rattler: The odds of such happening to you or your loved ones?
Life insurance sales pitch goes, "The 999,999 don't matter,
if the one in a million victim is you.")

One heart bleeding in isolation is tragic, but a billion hearts beating as one...

is easier dreamed than done.

© Karlo Sevilla


Karlo Sevilla (@KarloSevilla) writes from Quezon City, Philippines. His poems have appeared in Philippines Graphic and international political literary magazines Radius, Matter, Social Justice Poetry, and others.

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