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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.

Monday, April 22, 2013

THE BIG QUESTIONS, 30: A RAISON D'ETRE (WHY NOT MAKE IT OUR DUTY TO SPREAD BEAUTY AS A REASON FOR BEING?)

This is Poem #30 in my series of poem responses to the Big Questions to mark National Poetry Month (NaPoMo April 2013). In search of a reason for being? Why not make it our duty to spread beauty as a reason for being?




A RAISON D’ETRE

Imagine if all of us were caterpillars,
all inching toward that one branch
or leaf whence we spread our wings
to carry out a bounden duty of flitting
from one rose garden to a hillock
smothered by a rainbow of pansies:

Would we race to the highest branch
and shed our cocoon shackles quickly
to fulfill this raison d’etre of spreading
beauty where it is scarce or now gone?
Imagine if all that we lived for were a
task as gleeful as this godlike whimsy.

Would we not scale beyond this boot,
and swing beyond this silken thread?
Or tear through bramble or grappling
gossamer webs that drag us down
even as we crawl toward sunlit fronds
to spread our wings and get beauty done?
 

—ALBERT B. CASUGA

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