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POETRY: Picture-Perfect

Cruising at thirty six
thousand feet approximately
on an early summer morning sunny,
from inside the giant
metal bird’s cold belly
through the glass window awed I see
sheep with glowing white fleece
of shifting shapes
and many sizes,
hypnotic beauties
hovering soundless,
tranquil and content as they graze

on vast fields of vibrant green
bathed in early morning
sunlight golden —
a picture-perfect
vista so serene
that I savor peacefully smiling.

But, look, the land silently cries
from the scars and wounds
on it inflicted over decades
by the mad pursuit of profits,
by men’s mindlessness
and so-called progress.

And, yes, I hear the pain
of wounds and scars unseen
in the souls and hearts of men,
of women and of children
who have borne witness to and seen
horrible bloodshed without seeming end.

Oh, my land!
Oh, my people!
Oh, my Mindanao!
When shall you heal?
How shall we heal?

(Eric S.B. Libre is a Mindanawon freelance development consultant who has done some work in a number of conflict-affected areas of Mindanao and occasionally dabbles in creative writing. He lives in Digos City, and is proud to be a senior citizen).

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