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AN ECHO FROM THE WILDERNESS

Amado Picardal

 

 No, I cannot be silent

 as long as there are barbedwires

 and checkpoints

 that dominate our landscape.

 

 No, I will not be silent

 as long as those who till

 are alienated from the land

 and those who labor

 are strangers to the fruit of their toil.

 

 No, I will never rest

 as long as there are

 lords and  empires

 who control our nation and our hearts

 ad nauseam.

 

No, I cannot rest

 as long as the criminals

 are still at large

 and continue to sit in their offices.

 

 No, I will never stop

 as long as the spiral of death continues

 and is glorified as the only way

 to salvation

 while widows and orphans

 multiply everyday.

 

My voice will continue  to echo

 the cries of the afflicted

 until this land ceases to be a howling wilderness

 and turns into the promised land.

 

 Then I will sing a new song.

 when the battlefields will become

 

farms owned by those who till them,

 when the military bases and camps will become

   factories owned and managed by those who work,

 when the tanks will become bulldozers,

 when the torture chambers and detention camps

   will be turned into museums and zoos.

when the military intelligence and the army will be

   abolished and turned into batallions of

   teachers, workers and farmers,

 when Malacanang and congress will become

   the house of the people's true representatives

 and not of the representatives of the landlords,   

          capitalists and the multinational corporations,

 when trees will grow in the brown mountains

    and crops will be harvested in the desert,

 when the rivers and seas will be full of fish

    instead of toxic wastes and bloated corpses,

 when children can play and old people dance,

 when people will live as community of friends and  brothers 

  and sisters instead of enemies or competitors,

 when fiestas will  be celebrated   more often

            and the only    explosions heard

       will come from firecrackers,

 when we can proclaim, live and celebrate the gospel

 without being branded and hunted as subversives

 and there will be more tears of joy

 instead of tears of grief.

 

We will sing a new song

 when the kingdom truly becomes a reality.