A black, stripeless tiger crowned
with a headdress adorned with ferns
Locally sewn, nationally stolen
Rests on the cliff overlooking
The majority of his den. He stays in his reign
With a booming roar that deafens everyone’s
Sight, numbing everyone’s ear, and blinding
Everyone’s taste. No one knows this
But Him, the foul-mouthed tiger tending,
Licking the blood spots dried in its claws.
All of you, this is our savior—
A beast pampered to a spoon heaping
With empty bodies, void of soul
Helpless in this land, better in the afterlife.
He who continues to gloat at every successful hunt
(…quivering wind chimes, we had some good times)
He who used to yammer inside our screens
(…wooed by his offer: the fountain of youth)
He who now prowls deviant of nature’s law
(…silenced, we are silenced)
The gallant born of iron fangs
Marks its paws among his prime possessions,
Looking like a fool as he dances
In high-fashioned bravado—
Must never be touched nor questioned.
Welcome the gun on your head
A splatter in one of the city’s many tongues
You won’t be remembered,
Yet a roar will be heard,
As a victor
of (t)his land.
Marc Jeff Lañada hails from General Santos City and is an incoming 4th year BA Communication Arts student in University of the Philippines Mindanao.