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Paul Elisha: Different Venue, Same Vice

This dispirited pundit has learned that patent and pointless race prejudice, plus spiteful political pandering are too poisonous a mix for any communicator to endure. Now, however, this ‘Pro Patria’ veteran is assailed by a more urgent concern: Multiple efforts by entrenched adversaries of our honest but overwhelmed President, to disarm him for the remainder of his term. Outnumbered by paladin politicians, this pundit has donned his ‘bard’s-armor,’ to do battle with verse rephrased but still relevant in color and outlook to the original, he created more than seventy years ago. Different venue, same vice.

DARK PEOPLE Manoag, P.I.*, 1944 *(Philippine Islands) Surging from the darkness they’d endured, The dark people leapt to meet us; emerged From the thicket’s thousand-eyed night, Onto a sun-up beach, ignoring its grim Jumble of littered dead, monotone Rumble and clink of howitzer treads, Snaking forever forward. They thronged To collect freedom, as yet unseen But there, like the air we breathed. This is what they believed would come with Our return but no such luck. What came was more of what they’d had, Now clad in weasel-words, language That subverted what we’d said, as it Contravened all essence and instead, Taught them the worth of Coke; in a word, “Profit,” greasing the few who learned it the way We meant it, sent with an uncle’s interest. As for the rest, we franchised them with thirst, Withheld our best on principal, left them waiting For us to equate a query without an answer, Learning nada/nil--- and still they wait.

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