I imagine –
Down the hill
the brush caressed his crumpled body
a human rights warrior
bearing badges of defiance
now crusty claret.
Manny lay cold and spent
like a hammer in a corner
of the smithy’s dirt floor
In quiet confidence, he had forged
other dreamers in his ways--
scores of cadres to help frame
an unfettered future
then, still in his mind’s eye
and in others’, too.
This hammer had served faithfully.
Before, a hammer--now, rusting iron.
It returns to the earth in its new state
like fallen leaves and wilted flowers
and people’s tears--
its purpose served.
"Death is simply another state.
Each people’s worker is part of a dialectic. "
Manny’s death merely transformed one part
and created a new, more discerning unity.
The warrior had lived his poem,
the poet had lived his war.
Though stilled, he is still of the species.
His thoughts and words and works
resonate in the lives of people
around whom he wrapped his heart.
They're also spawning new dreamers.
Fellow travelers are grasping and defending--
and improving on--his life and their own
as men and Man.
Deeded now to the owners of surplus labour
the Worker, reaching some critical mass
will be principal in the spring.
The principal of the future
in time will free the birds of peace
And, I imagine, Manny’s eyes--
glasses off--will be smiling then.
*Chapter 9, Fractured Memories
[In memory of Emmanuel “Manny” Yap who disappeared in the 70s during the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines; November 5 is his birthday]