My photo
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, January 1, 2016

POEMS: ART AND BEAUTY (For Willy, Jun, and Al+)

A painting by Philippine National Artist Fernando Amorsolo


Transfigured, we come
Back to old haunts like the wind
And give back beauty.
---Albert B. Casuga

Poems for the Exhibit of Jun and Willy


(For Willie Buhay, Jun Alday, and Al Manrique +,
My San Beda College Students as Artists)

On the canvas, still life remains still,
but for the ravages of neglect and time.
For a little while, movement there will
come from light thrown off like mime
from palpable forms that are frozen
inexorably, dictates of chiaroscuro,
ideographic demands, or even unspoken
meaning jutting out of dashed impasto.
Will their narrative then lend them light
like the moon borrows from the sun?
How luminous will faces shine in sunlight?
Will flowers glow, will river streams run?
When these happen, will all the sparkle
Bound by bastidor* speak or mumble?

*Bastidor – frame


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?

Wherever beauty is, we will be there,
And if our troth be true, we will all
Be stuck there, too, spinning webs
of words, music that will outlive us all.

Canada, Deccember 31, 2015

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