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Thursday, June 15, 2017

Marawi Aftermath: Dancing With Smoke

By: Ymatruz | Filed under: |

I wrote a previous poem A Tribute to the Victims of War & Terrorism for the people of Marawi and the Philippine soldiers. I thank them for their bravery and endless efforts to free the city from terrorists. I salute every soldiers in the world who put themselves in danger to protect their countries.

Struggles at Marawi siege enter its fourth week and the war has claimed number of lives. There are stories told about unclaimed bodies of civilians and mothers looking for their sons whom they presumed are already dead. This inspired me to write another poem about war.

Warning: this poem is kinda sad.  I couldn't help but feel the painful memories of war every time I read the news.

Inspired by the phrase "one petal at a time" from the poetry collection of Ms. Brenda Harsham of Friendly Fairy Tales blog, I created my version as you can read on the 3rd stanza.

Dancing With Smoke

The color of May is red. Gray smoke
dances like it's doomsday, overnight

rainbow gum trees take selfies,
poised nude, wrapped in linen

the mouthless bodies, which I flip
one leaf at a time. Cadavers lined up

cause me breathing heavy. Blood
in my hands, cleanse itself slowly

by tears, screaming many why. What
kind of soul burns his own? Numb,

I left, blankly running down the side
of the wall, hammering my hands

to the air. Some mothers whimper, too,
"My son isn't dead, is he? Dead

on my feet I move, shaken to open
the lids with no tag names. Hopeful

the rescuers will hand me a leaf
breathing, wounded – I don't care!

as long as he'd escape – death,
the earth through the backdoor.

Read more poems at the Poetry Friday roundup hosted by Carol this Friday at Carol's Corner




  1. You've written such a haunting poem. I can't imagine the sadness and horror the people of Marawi are experiencing.

    1. Thank you, Kay. Poetry helps me respond to the suffering of others.

  2. The US political news seems pathetic and trivial compared to this situation.

  3. My heart goes out to you and the people in Marawi. You really brought that alive.