(Poetry) Where Morning Can Be Seen
Updated: Jan 9, 2021
Author: Jaewon Chang (the Philippines)
A man lights a candle during a protest rally in front of the ABS-CBN headquarters in Quezon City, May 5, 2020. A government agency ordered the country's largest network to stop its operations over its stalled license renewal.
Credit: Basilio H. Sepe, ABS-CBN News
"Where Morning Can be Seen" is a poem based on the shut-down of Philippine broadcasting center ABS-CBN in 2020. Written in the perspective of a young girl, the piece considers her restricted vision of the streets inside a shanty. Allusions are made to George Floyd's death in mentioning "knees etched on necks", and allusions to quarantine in the current COVID-19 situation, where "cartridges trace sidewalks and not skin". Throughout the poem, the lack of rainfall is also emphasized in multiple stanzas.
Picture a shanty on the shores of Baseco, where
instead of naked windows, air. Inside, a young girl
can only imagine voiceless street markets selling
balut, stifles extending longer than wounds hewed
on skin. In a distance, she sees pigeons lined atop
the canopy of street lamps, sometimes thinking-
birds flying low means soon, water from the skies.
Grass enveloping the lamp will begin to thaw, and
she won’t know about the burning iris. Instead,
she eyes a sparrow roosting in the breach of clouds,
like thoughts wanting to perish. The way she prays to
unsee knees etched on necks, cartridges tracing
sidewalks and not skin, her family’s aflamed house.
Credit: "The Philippines' largest TV network just got shut down. Here's what that means for press freedom," Mashable
Poems published on the Coalition Times express the opinions of the author(s), and our publication is not an endorsement of them.