The Kingdom of Mammon

The boulevards burn with violence
in the furious swarm of electric lights;
and in the avenues, turtle-wise,
hordes of cars roar with fierce energy.

Buildings that tower with arrogance
in Escolta have turned into rows of grave-stones;
who will want or crave from the markets
fruits and goods that have grown rotten?

On every side there’s pleasure and distraction,
fiesta and dancing, night-long, day-long;
radios, newspapers, shops, hotels,
all serve every whim of “high society.”

Our country is so progressive and prosperous--
that’s what the tourists are impressed by;
who dares whisper that thousands have no roofs
above their heads; that hunger stalks this town?