Day 2 – Can You See Us Now, Idiyanale? (myth-based poem)

Idiyanale is the Philippine goddess of good deeds and hard work, as well as agriculture and animal husbandry. In some ethnic groups, she is also seen as the goddess of death.

 

Can You See Us Now, Idiyanale?

By Kim Andaya

 

Can you see us now, Idiyanale?

Have you turned away

Because we have forgotten your name?

Or have you turned away

Because we have disgraced it?

 

We are guilty of both treasons

We have slandered and we have slothed

We have not wrestled for honor

Instead we squirmed and wriggled,

Spineless and vile in the soil,

To fertilize a harvest that feeds no one

But the feet that threaten to trample us

Or the hands that poke us with sticks

Because they can

And we let them

For we relish the scraps they leave us

As if they are gifts given by your brothers and sisters

 

We scramble over their leftovers

Hungry, Greedy

Some of us jump for it, their weak nerve cords

Driven mad by want

But the birds watch,

And they devour and feed on those whose greed is easily seen,

Allowing the craftier, more patient ones,

Who promised those who went before them the lion’s share,

To hoard the scraps while they are distracted

 

We’ve all sunken to larceny,

Easy, evil larceny.

Or perhaps not,

For who still holds the rights to what he keeps

Under lock and key?

And who is to say what the law is

And what it calls for?

 

Oh, Idiyanale, you see us after all

And the punishment you have served us is great

Through our grappling and shoving,

You have allowed us to build our own Dystopia,

Where to have Langit one must make Impiyerno,

And to live one must sell his soul

To death everlasting

 

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