Shutdown Sonnet by Angela Gabrielle Fabunan

Who knew the word shutdown would cause such chaos?
After all, we shutdown the computer every day,
shut the cell off, shut the door, have a seat,
turn down the lights, we should be accustomed to it.

Because for governments who shut some people out
and shuts down most, this is not an anomaly—
what more can we expect from those who don’t know
the difference between the shutter of a gun and #trigger.

We shudder in the grasp of the twittering elite
who refuse to flick open their country’s doors
to the tired and the poor and the huddled masses,
it’s utter sublimation, a feat, turning away from disaster.

“Shut up!” No way you’re going to shoot me
Down, to yet another paper crumpling in your palm.



line 11 is taken from Emma Lazarus “The New Colossus”

line 12 is taken partly from Edith Tiempo “Bonsai”

and partly from W.H. Auden’s “Musée des Beaux Arts”

Fairytale for the Philippines by Angela Gabrielle Fabunan

Who were you to say we should sweep the floor

so we could eat fallen apples from it.

All we wanted was to get out the door

cabin fever on the mind, so we bit

the stirrup, the first cut on our hands stung

the wind, getting out of a small town life

never knew of lampposts with bodies hung

never knew anything of stubborn strife

in fairy tales where heroines come back

heroes go forward to revenge, not flee

but this is not one. This is the real lack

of words the citizens in a bloody

country can’t come up with to salve or fend

of wounds that fester like mould to the end.