FENCE GRAFFITI POEM: VOICE, LOVE, PEACE
Five Poems Celebrating Peace
By ALBERT B. CASUGA
...No time to rejoice for those who walk among noise and deny the voice/...Suffer us not to mock ourselves with falsehoods/ Teach us to care and not to care/ Teach us to sit still/...Our peace in His will/...And let my cry come unto Thee. ---T. S. Eliot, “Ash Wednesday”
That would have required a lot of fences,a lot of denuded trunks, fallen trees even.
You would have to stare at backyardsgreen with revived spring grass, risking
life and limb. “Is this your graffiti? Is it?”But the three words I stepped on, walking
on the trail, in dotard cadence: Peace, Love:they were temple bromides. But Voice?
They were sprawled on the grime, likedrunken derelicts, one did not have to look
but be accosted by their urgent demandon winding asphalt: Peace. Love. Voice.
Like four-letter words, they surprise onewhose habit is to look down in timorous
gait, troubled by daily lust, greed, and liesdreading mayhem from a gaze at the sky.
Peace. A span of walls for a five-letter word,perhaps havoc among the mansion lords
writhing in the spasm of murderous oath:“Let me not catch the spineless vandal!
Or heaven forbid, I will sever both his armsfrom his bastard shoulders. No piece spared
among his vile fingers. I will pluck his eyesfrom their sockets. Paint “PEACE” with blood
oozing from hollowed holes in his crushedface, across his torso, down to his dirty groin!”
I wonder at my walk’s anguish over the murderof children, old women, and decrepit men
in the hovels of Kandahar by a calculatingAmerican Marine, Rambo-like, making a target
practice out of frightened children, burningtheir lean-to homes, maybe urinating, too,
on corpses like those cut-up Taliban lined upby YouTubed U.S. soldiers in nasty whoopee.
Is this hurt, after all, not a misplaced dreadthat peace is nothing now but a dying dream?
Love. Like a four-letter word, it could nothave been used nor even abused in Homs
where Syrian fathers, brothers, and armedkin mowed down children, more children,
dismembered children and all who could notescape the carnage at Karm el-Zeitoun to call
down a leader beleaguered by an Arab Springblazing like fiery poems as flamethrowers.
“Disarm the shabiba* or arm village defenders.This is our civil war! “As if war could be civil.
As if love were a filthy four-letter word thrownat the askance who ask: How could you love
your country when you butcher your loversand plead for arming your rebels to wage war?
Voice. Ah, the avant-garde call to generalquarters. From a challenging cry of rebellion,
is it perhaps rapidly withering? Voice your pain.Occupy! Voice your anger. Occupy! Vox populi
Vox Dei. Occupy! Wall Street, Bay Street, oreven streetcars name Desire. Occupy! Occupy!
From the stupor of a languid walk, one recallsa Via Dolorosa, a lonely wounded walk up
the Hill of Skulls, a golgotha presides overa cacophony of voices, noises: Crucify! Crucify?
Is this not, somehow, the direst of oxymoronswhen the spread-eagled, nailed, pinioned man
counsels love for neighbours? You will be withme in paradise; forgive them, they know not
what they do. Yet, did he not shout out his pain:Father, why have you abandoned me? Why?
The people must have their Voice. It is the Voiceof God. Soon, in the British Parliament, learned
voices will argue why the Crucifix should notbe worn on stewardess’s lapels, or civil servants
yearning for the equivalent of a tolerated turban,or even a recondite dagger, all symbols of faith.
I step on these words graffitied on the sprungtrail. I mutter: Peace, Love, Voice. I did not fall.
He did, got lashed, mocked. Kicked to standwith his burden, he insisted on loving even
enemies, even those who cried: Crucify Him!On my quaint walk through a new spring on
Glen Erin trail, I shrugged the lingering cold offand whispered: Here is my empty heart. Occupy it.
--ALBERT B. CASUGA
BIO OF A. B. CASUGA
ALBERT B. CASUGA, a Philippine-born writer, lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, where he continues to write poetry, fiction, and criticism after his retirement from teaching and serving as an elected member of his region's school board. He was nominated to the Mississauga Arts Council Literary Awards in 2007. A graduate of the Royal and Pontifical University of St. Thomas (now University of Santo Tomas, Manila. Literature and English, magna cum laude), he taught English and Literature (Criticism, Theory, and Creative Writing) at the Philippines' De La Salle University and San Beda College. He has authored books of poetry, short stories, literary theory and criticism. He has won awards for his works in Canada, the U.S.A., and the Philippines. His latest work, A Theory of Echoes and Other Poems was published February 2009 by the University of Santo Tomas Publishing House. His fiction and poetry were published by online literary journals Asia Writes and Coastal Poems recently. He was a Fellow at the 1972 Silliman University Writers Workshop, Philippines. As a journalist, he worked with the United Press International and wrote an art column for the defunct Philippines Herald. He maintains an online literary blog on http://ambitsgambit.blogspot.ca
PERMISSION TO PRINT/PUBLISH
TO: THE WORLD PEACE POETRY FESTIVAL
(Represented herein by Mr. Jaypee Belarmino, firstname.lastname@example.org)
I am hereby giving permission to The World Peace Poetry Festival herein represented by Jaypee Belarmino to print the above Fence Graffiti Poem, that he has requested for their purposes during the Festival to be held in Richmond, British Columbia.
The material is fully copyrighted by the undersigned and may not be published by any other organization or publisher without his express permission.
Albert B. CasugaJanuary 28, 2013
64-3125 Fifth Line West
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3S8
CC: File, Copyright