Search This Blog

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cory Aquino & Cecil Rajendra

cory1.jpgLearning about former President Corazon Aquino's colon cancer once again reminded me of the leveling power of human illness. Disease/illness is no respecter of persons. In relation to her unforgettable role in nation building after the collapse of the Marcoses' conjugal dictatorship, I am also reminded of famed Malaysian lawyer-poet Cecil Rajendra's tribute to her entitled, "Sign of the Turtle"*:



Your dream of fair elections
was the dream of innocents.


A housewife and mother
you had no experience
in those nefarious arts --
trickery/deception/murder --
too often the quintessence
of reptiles clinging to power.


Recipes for successful dicta-
torships cannot be found
on bookshelves or kitchen.
Amin, Pinochet, Duvalier
all gleaned their lessons
in the high chairs of office.


In your fight for Presidency
you had no ammunition

save a blazing integrity
-- a mere peashooter --
against the incumbent's arse-
nal of political chicanery.


But star, omen and angel
were always on your side, Cory.
That day he forced poor turtles
to vote for him, soothsayers

divined his worm-riddled ship
of state would soon turn turtle!
turtle9.jpg



* Cecil Rajendra, Child of the Sun and Other Poems (London: Bogle-L'Ouverture Publications, 1986), 42.

1 comment:

MathSimon said...

Oh?? May tribute pala si Cecil Rajendra kay Cory? hanep ah. Ngayun ko lang nakita yun