BRIEF NARRATIVES

08 September 2010

Edel Garcellano

1.
The Chinese
Was handcuffed
To the door
When the gunman
Started firing behind him,
He struggled madly…
Nothing, after all,
Had escaped him
Throughout the ordeal –
The rat-tat-tat,
The screaming…
And every second that ticked
edged him closer…
Suddenly,
A cosmos of whiteness
Spread like light
Inside his eyes.

2.
The dead were piled up
Like butchered animals
All over the floor:
The slaughter,
According to breaking news,
Was unimaginable.
In the succeeding investigation,
No one would claim
Responsibility for the massacre
Except maybe the criminal
Who couldn’t anymore
Plead for his reinstatement
& retirement pension.
But the demands were cheap,
Lamented a survivor…
Didn’t she know
The wheels of justice
Grind slower
Than Zeno’s turtle?

3.
Should he be calling
The shots?
His circle feared for
His safety,
Giving him wise advise.
Accidents may happen
From a friendly fire.
O If only Machiavelli
Were alive
To brief him on
The craft of governance.
The eyes of the dead
Stud the night
Nowadays
Like stars
That nobody understands
Why they twinkle
Like fireflies.

4.
After all is said
& done,
Life will move on
With time  –
Years later
All will be busy
With the banality
Of living.
The bus will be
Repaired
To again ferry
Those who will return
In droves
To take a break’
From HK’s cold weather
Remembrances
Will be strictly
A family affair
Until the last generation
Loses its memory.
Malacañang will
Keep on promoting generals
Who’ll ever be clueless
To prevent tragedies
As if everything
Were destiny.

5.
It was no big deal,
Really
Purely a police matter
They could handle –
Such as this crazy guy
Who took over at gunpoint
A busload of tourists
To air his side
They had handled it
Before
Now if it were an Abu affair,
It could very well
Be a different matter
Besides, the dude was family,
Of their kind…
Everything was large writ
In the manual
But when night came
Like a tiger
Lying down in the grass
Tempers suddenly shifted
& no longer there was
Any protocol to observe.
Was it destined to happen?
Everything that might go wrong
Went wrong?
It was inevitable,
They privately mused,
As if no one could be faulted
For the outcome of murder.
The man-made Event’
Became every inch
Metaphysical:
Therefore only God
Could have stopped
The flood of tears.

6.
The negotiator averred
His powers
Were limited
He had to defer to higher
Authorities,
Like a serf to his lord,
Who, alas, didn’t know
Any better
Though written
It was into the manual
Every general joined the fray,
& everyone must have felt
Relieved,
It’s finally over
Except the survivors
Who wished
The police
should not have bothered
To save them
From the stupidity of it all.

7.
Of course,
The President
Must be above suspicion –
That he never cared
He will not want
For Palace defenders:
They have fancy titles
To carry out the job of language bodyguards.
But bystanders wished
He didn’t feel
Assured
Just watching
The event
Unfold on television
His shooting buddy
After all was in control

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Posted in aug 23

14 Responses to BRIEF NARRATIVES

  1. September 9, 2010 at 9:48 am
    Bert

    “Now if it were an Abu affair,
    It could very well
    Be a different matter
    Besides, the dude was family,
    Of their kind…”

    This is the most cogent passage by the author relevant to that hostage-taking fiasco.

    The police was too lenient and treated the hostage-taker with kid’s glove, and the handling of the negotiation handled with such lackadaisical manner, for reason I would believe was because the gunman is a police comrade, their brother in uniform, thinking perhaps that he would not lose his head in the process of the negotiation. Maybe the exact reason why they opted not to neutralized him when they have the chance a number of times to do so, which could have prevented the carnage from happening.

  2. September 10, 2010 at 12:04 am
    Mike H

    Why is underSecretary Puno still in office?

    I understand why Robredo has not been fired yet, but what is keeping Noynoy from showing some steel and firing Puno? Cronyism shooting-buddy is bad enough (why Puno got hired); cronying shooting budy is extremely bad why Puno does not get fired.

  3. September 10, 2010 at 6:44 am

    educate me,
    how come a problem on scheduling and time allocation is a reflection of the difference in management styles?

    management styles are characteristic ways of making decisions and relating to subordinates. who was the superior and who was the subordinate? Ow dumb me. It cannot be the management style of Robredo as a mayor where he was an awardee in recognition of his leadership.

  4. September 10, 2010 at 7:22 am
    niknok

    I like this poem. It clearly shows (not tell) the dysfunction of our nation. The heinous killing of innocent victims, the slow phase (almost criminal) of justice system, the police protecting their own, the president protecting his buddies, the media outdoing each other at all cost, and the officials not owning the responsibility.

    If you examine it closer these people are our neighbors, or schoolmates, our town folks, our church mates, our family. Yes it is a dysfunction of the whole nation that needs moral and cultural reforms. It is very hard to isolate them from ourselves as they are our own people. If we truly want changes in our society, start looking at the mirror.

    The burden of uplifting the nation rests not on government shoulders alone but on peoples’ hands as well.

  5. September 10, 2010 at 9:11 am
    GabbyD

    @cat

    if not management styles, then what do u call it? ikaw na ang nagsabi: mgt styles is ” characteristic ways of making decisions and relating to subordinates. ”

    isnt time mgt part of your own definition?

  6. September 10, 2010 at 11:32 am

    who was the superior and who was the subordinate during the campaign?

  7. September 10, 2010 at 12:19 pm
    baycas

    what started only as plain conversation
    ended up in ineffective negotiation

    alas the interviewer sees no fault
    even though nine died as a result

    what brought about the tragic epilogue?
    was the absence of gunman-to-police dialogue

  8. September 10, 2010 at 8:04 pm
    GabbyD

    @cat

    shouldnt the question be: who is the manager, and who is being managed?

    its a campaign… there is a campaigner/candidate, and a campaign manager.

  9. September 13, 2010 at 2:12 am

    So you mean, Robredo is the campaign manager and Noynoy is being managed?
    But Gabbyd, the campaign manager does not manage the candidate. He manages the campaign itself.

    The schedule of 20 sorties a day was more of political strategy to cover all bases and reach as many voters as possible.

    The scope of responsibility of a campaign manager is larger than scheduling events; he is also into tasks of coordinating and supervising multiple functions which include supervision of volunteers. This scheduling was only a small part.

    The campaign manager does not literally manage the candidate; he consults with him. he generally confers whatever are the schedules or plans that the candidate may be required to do to attain their objective of winning the election. There is no superior-subordinate relationship for that small function in the campaign organization since he can always say no.

    The candidate being managed has the power to kick the campaign manager out.

  10. September 17, 2010 at 12:51 am
    niknok

    5 months after elections and you’re still arguing about presidential campaign. Sobrang sakit bacat natalo ang kandidato mong si erap? Move on ka na.

  11. September 17, 2010 at 2:06 am
    GabbyD

    @niknok

    from my POV, we were discussing the finer point of campaigning…

    i dont understand her point here:
    “The scope of responsibility of a campaign manager is larger than scheduling events; he is also into tasks of coordinating and supervising multiple functions which include supervision of volunteers. This scheduling was only a small part.”

    which proves my point… scheduling IS a part of managing a campaign. it IS part of robredo’s mgt strategy.

  12. September 17, 2010 at 5:04 am
    niknok

    @ GabbyD:

    Ingat ka lang pre maraming pusang gala dyan na nagpapanggap na expert sa hostage crisis, economy and yes even presidential campaigns. Too bad their candidate lost. Kaya lahat ng gagawin ng gobyerno ay mali para sa kanila. Malamang sila na ang susunod na hostage taker.

  13. September 17, 2010 at 6:35 am
    GabbyD

    @niknok

    matagal ko nang ka-discuss si cat. i find that she’s intelligent, which makes me somewhat frustrated when she argues without evidence or argument. i’m certain she has some kind of argument or evidence at the back of her mind., so i’m always trying to coax it out of her if there’s something i dont understand…

    so when she asks a question like: “how come a problem on scheduling and time allocation is a reflection of the difference in management styles?”… i react… for me, its obviously a part of mgt, so when a smart person like her declares something like this it, i am interested…

    it turns out she believes its part of mgt too. so what is the point of her original question?

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