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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.

Friday, August 18, 2017

LITTLE SHADOWS AT SUNDOWN

  1. MY POEM TODAY goes back to the sea for those old sounds, the old sights, so familiar with my growing up. I was an only son, and had sisters to protect. Like thi...s young lad who has his sisters covered.

  2. LITTLE SHADOWS AT SUNDOWN
  3. (For the Wee Ones at the Beach)


  4. There is where here is:
    Do you hear the murmur
    Of the sea waves laving this shore?
    It is the whispered caress of a mother
    Come upon her little ones’ romp
    Among the sundown shadows.

  5. Where the flushed horizon
    Meets the sea, a father’s
    Face gleams ruddy
    With laughter’s heat
    Still on his crinkled brow.

  6. O, that this cacophony of sounds
    Becomes the noise of a lifetime
    This heart (from a distance)
    Could hearken to, leap up to,
    Velvety notes of a joie de vivre
    That this place was built for,
    Made of, remembered by:

  7. Is this not, after all, the paradise
    He thought was lost in time past
    Visited now upon his dotage
    When he hankers for joy,
    A little life left, while there is time?

  8. The little shadows taunt the sea
    To reach their limbs. Gleeful,
    Their now surprised screams,
    When touched at last, are drowned
    By whimper of the ebbtide waves
    That has turned to gentle laughter.


  9. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA

THE PASSION

  1. MY POEM TODAY is a Poem suggesting a move to another intensity: like old men, while we walk with the "bottoms of our trousers" rolled, we continue exploring before going back home. Sleep will be good. Then.

  2. THE PASSION
  3. ...
  4. Love is most nearly itself/ When here and now cease to matter./ Old men ought to be explorers/ Here and there does not matter/ We must be still and still moving/ Into another intensity... T. S. Eliot, “East Coker”, Four Quartets

  1. Too late to be afraid, I have left for places
    to explore, posted my address “nowhere”
    and there will be no returning. Not here.

  1. Not now, or anywhere. I have built me
    caverns of love walled with sound, echoes
    really, of cathedrals of thought and feeling

  1. neatly folded into my threadbare knapsack
    of everything that is old and do not matter:
    Only the love, barely the love, all the love.

  1. What is it? Where is it? How is it made?
    How long will it last? Why call it a passion?
    In that hill, on that rugged cross, it was. It is.

  1. Where I shall go, I shall be asked: How long
    did it take for you to know how to get home?
    I always felt the tug, but never its intensity.

  1. ---Albert B. Casuga

BEING PROUD OF HER

  1. BEING PROUD OF HER*
  2. (For Mimi, Blanca and Ding+ Nolledo


  3. Let me at it---get me to my concupiscibles....
    Green. Ripples. Sidled boats. Verdant growth.
    Do you not see the metaphor stripped bare
    Of all that is recondite? Lorca saw it: Verde.
    Old Nick’s barking tremolo swooned to it—
    Evensong lullaby hushed his beer-body riot.
    “Shh…the quiet lord cometh, he is on his way,
    Laving ripples murmur to the brackish rocks
    Serving sentry on the bluff: it is the end of day,
    One more goodbye, one more sleep. No cocks
    Crow here anymore.” Mimi has a good eye.

  1. Do you not feel what you ought to also see?
    The idled empty boats are Indios Bravos tables.
    Our tippling comrades are not there anymore,
    Like the gin-ran pumps of absent boatmen,
    These tubs tug at loose ropes linking them
    Briefly like tumbler-toasting, tired, trolling
    Troubadours. Beyond, it will always be green;
    The gentle whimsy of wind is caressing here.
    But the lights will be turned down soon,
    Like sundown’s stealth, the creeping gloom.

  1. At the old haunt—Nick, Pete, Pascua-Sanchez,
    Papen, Erwin, Recah, Blanca, Adrian, Cuadra,
    Are still shadows on the wall, not unlike catfish
    Bobbing up for air as we did, drunken Bravos,
    Fighting for breath when carousing left us
    Struggling to surface from the depths of dives
    Into bottomless pain and puzzlement: why
    Did we have to walk out, foglike, into a dawn
    Where bright days turned us all into harlequins
    Miming what we thought were loud promises
    to stay alive like these green dancing ripples
    moving my eyes now grafted into Mimi’s Eye.

  1. ---ALBERT B. CASUGA
    Mississauga, 07-07-13


  2. *A poem written in the persona of the late Philippine writer and novelist non pareil Wilfrido D. “Ding” Nolledo, father of artist Melissa Nolledo, and beloved husband of writer-editor Blanca Datuin-Nolledo, who writes a blog “Cropsharing in the Bounty of Love” where she collects hitherto unknown remembrances of one of the finest writers in English in the Philippines, “But for the Lovers” author, Wilfrido Nolledo.

WOMAN TEACHES JESUS

Francisco Albano

8:18 AM (12 hours ago)
to Francisco
 
August 20, 2017
Gospel Reflection
20th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A
 
WOMAN TEACHES JESUS
Mat 15: 21-28 (RSV)
 
St. Luke tells us that Joseph, Mary, and Jesus – 12 years old at the time – attended the feast of Passover in Jerusalem. On the way home after the feast, the parents noticed the boy was not with them.  He was not among relatives and friends either. They went back to Jerusalem and found him in the temple courts among the teachers listening to them and asking questions. Mama Mary subtly reprimanded the boy who learned a valuable lesson in family relations. The family returned to Nazareth where “… Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man. (Luke 2:52 NAB)”
 
 Jesus the man would learn more lessons in family and social relations that would enable him to teach well, proclaim the Kingdom of God well, and, through healing the sick and feeding the hungry, give signal proofs that the Kingdom has begun and was present in and among the people. Jesus grew in knowledge, understanding, and wisdom – in communicating with people of town and country, in clashes with powers of village and temple, market, and state, in the formation of disciples and apostles, and in processes of struggles of his heart, in the way of the cross. The judgment would be that he did all things well – to open people to the largeness of life, to love of neighbor, and presence of a caring God. To righteousness. To the joy of living: “They have no wine,” was Mama Mary’s subtle suggestion/order at the wedding feast in Cana. And Jesus gave the newly-weds and the guests the best wine served last. Another crucial lesson from Mama Mary.
 
  Where was Jesus slow in the school of the Lord’s service? To be close to the poor, the orphan and the widow, the “little ones” – he got that right basically from the beginning. (Luke 4:18-19). But, IMHO, it was in the area of being all things to all men and women -- especially to women that he must have found some difficulty. Jesus at the start of his ministry learned to get out of the cultural confines of racial, religious, and gender prejudice and discrimination. He was a Jew: To what extent was he prejudiced against the Gentiles? He was a man: To what extent did he distance himself from women, and especially from pagan women? Who exposed to him his limitations in this regard?
 
   And so this non-incidental saving event of Jesus meeting the  Canaanite/Syrophoenician woman begging him to cure her daughter tormented by a demon. A Jew, a man, faces a Gentile-pagan woman. “Send her away,” the male-chauvinist Jewish disciples urge Jesus. "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel", Jesus tells the lady. But Jesus had already cured a centurion’s servant.  Did Jesus compromise? The centurion had faith, Jesus would not enter a pagan home; the servant would be cured from a distance.  An exception,  not causing any scandal?
 
   The woman, a mother to boot, is of strong will and faith, her humility simply amazing “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David.” So she knows his identity and is aware of his reputation as a holy man of good works. On her knees, she begs: “Lord, help me.” Jesus answers: "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She is not turned off by his rudeness. Yes, Jesus is rude to this pagan woman. Some exegetes say no! Jesus is not rude. He uses an innocuous metaphor. For “dogs: his term is “kunarion,” household pet, and not the pejorative “kuon”, despised street dog / “askal” (cf. Matt 7,6). (Nil Guillemette, SJ). Mildly rude then?
 
   In masterful repartee, a cunning woman counters. "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Eyes opened, Jesus answers her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish."
 
   Jesus underestimated the lady graced by God with faith and winning humor. Nothing good comes from Gentiles and pagan women? Here she is, a sign and presence of the Kingdom of his word. Jesus learns the value of gender sensitivity and the power of a prayerful woman. He learns that though the house of Israel is of special priority, for now, the Kingdom is for all. He learns something beautiful from this Canaanite-Syrophoenician lady who pleads for wellness not for herself but for another. Jesus advances in wisdom and favor before God and a woman. Whatever trace of gender exclusivism is him disappears. He is a growing presence of God, a Jesus who in the fullness of time and space and righteous relationships will then be recognized as true Man and true God.
 
    Is this event saving for me? Where am I in this scene? What word do I hear from Jesus, a man, and a Jew and from a smart pagan lady? Do I say to those who need my loving service: I was sent only to the lost sheep of the Church. Word and sacrament are for Christians only? Do I hold that salvation is only for those who accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, is for the well-to-do only whose economic blessings in life they believe are a sign that one is predestined to enjoy divine afterlife? Do I look down on Jews, Muslims, LGBTs and others who are not like me? How do I regard woman -- Canaanite-Syrophoenician, whatever. -- as an object of pleasure, a commodity, a non-citizen of the world, a second class person in the view of the Pharisees and Sadducees and priests and politicians and businessmen and scientists and soldiers of patriarchy and capitalist globalization? Have I ever prayed seemingly foolish in persistence and insistence for a cure for someone sick in body or mind or spirit?
 
    Does the Canaanite-Syrophoenician woman teach me a thing or two?  Do I send anyone like her away, because she bothers my conscience or my schedule? Am I a good learner as Jesus was?  Do I dare engage God in witty conversation and make him laugh?   Have I advanced in wisdom and stature and favor before God, women, and men?  # 

                                                    By Fr. Francisco R. Albano,  Diocese of Ilagan
 


 

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

AWAKENING A LEADER'S SOUL: LEARNING THROUGH IMMORTAL POEMS

Ascot Media Group, Inc.

2:20 PM (6 hours ago)
to me
Dear Albert Casuga : 
American companies spend billions of dollars annually on leadership development and training with very little to show for it. Clearly, something's missing.
What's missing, says Gaurav Bhalla, a thinker-doer, is the cultivation of our leaders' most valuable assets: their humanity and the wisdom of their souls.
Please allow me to send you a complimentary copy of Bhalla's thought-provoking new book, Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems, in consideration of a review, interview or feature.
Simply contact me to schedule an interview with the author, or let me know if I may send a review copy of the book. If you would like to run this story I'd be happy to send you JPEGs of Bhalla and the book cover. Thank you.
To view his video series, please visit http://tinyurl.com/9j44kxd.
Kate Marlowe
Ascot Media Group, Inc.
Post Office Box 2394
Friendswood, TX 77549
281.333.3507 Phone
832.569.5539 Fax
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www.ascotmedia.com

(This press release may be reprinted in part or entirety by any print or broadcast media outlet, or used by any means of social media sharing.)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Book Uses Immortal Poems To Help Leaders Embark On A Journey Of Reflection And Self-Awareness
Washington, D.C., August 8, 2017 ― Leadership roles rarely come with playbooks, even less so in today's complex and uncertain world. When confronted with 21st-century challenges, quandaries, dilemmas and paradoxes — which often require choices between right vs. right or wrong vs. more wrong — where do leaders turn for guidance?
Not to the brilliance of their executive minds or to best-practice recipes taught by traditional leadership training courses, but to the rootedness of their humanity — who they are, what they stand for, what they are willing to fight for and what they are willing to walk away from.
What matters most is not what's in leaders' heads, but what lies within their souls that guides what's in their heads, says Gaurav Bhalla, author, educator and CEO of Knowledge Kinetics.
Bhalla's new book, Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems, is about "Soulful Leadership,” a new human-centric narrative that reimagines the purpose of leadership. It takes current and future leaders on a transformative journey of reflection and self-awareness to help them better understand their own humanity and that of the worlds in which they live through a new set of teachers — immortal poems.
Using the timeless wisdom of Shakespeare, Whitman, Dickinson and many others, the book showcases critical leadership lessons, such as the perils of an over-inflated ego; the importance of authenticity, trust and integrity; the significance of perseverance; and the value of doubting – of not being too sure – all vital for imagining and engineering meaningful leadership journeys in the 21st century.
Through poems and essays, the book creates an inner awakening concerning an important issue – all leadership decisions ultimately require sacrificing something or someone, including planetary resources. Managing these sacrifices in a way that increases the wellbeing and prosperity of the greatest many is visionary. It's also the hallmark of Soulful Leadership, which today's world greatly needs.
Author Gaurav Bhalla holds a Ph.D. in marketing and strategy from the University of Kansas and is a globally acclaimed educator, speaker and consultant. CEO of Knowledge Kinetics, he and his company are committed to helping organizations develop visionary leaders and practice customer-first thinking.
He is also the author of Collaboration and Co-Creation: New Platforms for Marketing and Innovation (2010), the much-acclaimed Harvard Business Review article, "Rethinking Marketing,” and a historical-fiction novel, The Curse and the Cup (2014).
Bhalla asserts that "The head may be smart, but the soul is smarter…and… wise,” and works every day to advance his core philosophy that a person's humanity is a more enduring asset than his or her executive brilliance.
For more information, please visit www.soulfulleadership.world/.
Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems
Release date: September 7, 2017
Motivational Press
ISBN-10: 162865421X
ISBN-13: 978-1628654219
Available for pre-order on www.Amazon.com and other online book sellers.
###
TIP SHEET:
Q & As available on request.
Avraham Azrieli, TheColumbiaReview.com: "Highly recommended! … Awakening A Leader's Soul: Learnings Through Immortal Poems by Gaurav Bhalla, Ph.D., is a unique business leadership book that bypasses the usual offerings of practical business advice and decision-making skills in favor of centering on the leader's humanity and, by extension, taking readers on a fascinating journey of self-discovery and deeper awareness. … For anyone reading today's news headlines, the author's audacious leap of unconventional spirit in this book could not be more timely. … The book is further enriched with poignant, classic poems, embellished with introspective quotations from paradigm-shifting thinkers, and interspersed with artistic illustrations. It makes for a wonderful read, provokes deep introspection and occasionally rises to soaring heights of insight, discernment and prose. … This is an excellent, life-changing book for anyone seeking the true essence of great leadership.”











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