Sentinel on Tagaytay Ridge - but for how long? March 24, 2013
I braved the wind and storm, drought and rain,
vandals and lovers carving their pledge,
the beetle and caterpillar, all that has to gain
from me standing on this ridge at its edge.
I was as proud as a king, tallest among my kin,
home of countless tenants and refugees;
by height and place I was keen at touching the sky,
though so little I felt on Babel's knees.
The view around was lush and green, verdant
in the sun as mist and fog would unfold;
a woodland was my world, I was once a part,
until humans came to replace the old.
My neighbors are gone, I lost track of my lineage,
I've no one to talk to, though humans can
in queer sound far from the gentleness of breeze
all day long and after the sun is down.
I lost sight overlooking the famed volcano,
its lake within a lake shining in the sun;
my vantage is blocked by roofs and walls and smog,
an orphan I became by progress of man.
I no longer hear plaintive and joyful songs,
recitation of verses under my wing;
weary travelers no longer stop to take a nap,
nor birds nest in my branches and sing.
I live in fear for the woodsman, the engineer,
but I've lived with fear enough to understand
the world of man: fear akin to his existence
hidden in want - guideless, boundless in band.
Man's era shall reign over nature, but for how long?
I can only tell from my ancestors' story:
once upon a time there was a Paradise
abandoned by man in search for glory. ~