Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sun in the Well

Dr Abe V Rotor

                                                                                                                              Acknowledgement: Internet Photo

I dug for water
And looked to Heaven

Clouds I found none
But heard a voice instead

So I dug and dug.
Without let up,
But with no avail.

This time I looked to Heaven,
To ask, “How much deeper?”

And the voice came again.
“Until you see the sun, my son.”

I dug and dug and dug,
And a spring I soon struck,
Reflected the sun above.~

The Electric Fence

Dr Abe V Rotor

                                                                                               Acknowledgement: Internet photo

Little do you know of the sun,
how it sets and rises,
as the rhythms of life in moments of joy
and sadness.
Lo, the li’l boy all day sings like Aesops’
fabled locust;
In summer belittles the ant,
and what had he to boast?

The rains came, torrid the winds became,
dark was the night.
and groping he went his way, battling
with all his might.
But he was not Paul and neither was he
man enough
to weather the test, a game played
rough and tough.

The wind with the sail, they go like birds
gliding free,
and life is like that, wanting of nothing
on calm, old sea,
like a tree untested by storm, its idle roots
are shallow,
its branches lanky, its unseasoned limbs

What purpose is war then, El NiƱo,
the apocalypse men?
Darwin has the answer, but can man
break the omen?
Tolstoy and Hugo tell of the goodness
of man distilled,
not in times of plenty and peace,
but in the battlefield.

If you wish to reach Heaven alone,
do not bother,
for the Flood has purified your kind,
everyone now a brother.
and salvation awaits all brethrens,
more so the least,
and bless he who saves him from the fury
of the beast.

Go, leave the dungeon, follow the light
seeping through
the walls of ignorance and fear,
Indifference and hate.
Pry open and run for the woods;
make haste.
there is not enough tears and time
to waste.

Ah, where does the sun shine brightest,
you no longer ask,
neither where the blue sky and the blue sea
wear gray mask;
from Prometheus’ exile you came
and how you got here
Is immaterial now, for the gods
have joined the cheer.~

Monday, May 30, 2016

Behind Bars in the Mind - Two-liners for Everyday Living (Series 3)

 A problem easily solved
Often returns unresolved.

Dr Abe V Rotor

Now and then I jot ideas as they come spontaneously at work, leisure and even in the middle of the night. 

Ideas are fleeting, they just disappear and are difficult to recall.  Fortunately, with a notebook at hand, I was able to capture  and transcribed them painstakingly into two-line verses. 

Here are some I wish to share in this blog and on Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid (People's School-on-the-air) 

1. A boy gets to be a man when a man is needed;
A man gets to be a boy in times unheeded.

2. Beauty seen once may break many hearts,
That heal soon enough as the image departs.

3. To endure the pain of hatred,
A leader’s wisdom often dared.

4. Only good wine grows mellow with age;
So does a good man into a sage.

5. Beauty builds upon beauty,
Ad infinitum to eternity.

6. The past may leave remnants to the future,
New to the young while dying bit by bit.

7. On some mountain top, one’s echo is clear and loud;
In the market place it dies, so in any crowd.

8. A clenched fist softens under a blue sky,
Like high waves, after tempest, die.

9. If a little in me dies if only someone must live,
Here then, Lord, here is my whole life to give.

10. The man that you see today
Was the child of yesterday.
The wind whistles a wild song through the trees
before it settles into a breeze.

11. He who nods when old is wise and deep,
Save he by the fireside asleep.

12. How seldom, if at all, do we weigh our neighbors
The way we weigh ourselves with the same favors.

13. We say we do not have the time, is an alibi
To indolence and loafing, letting time pass by.

14. Ephemeral are the ways of our lives
Watching not the sun to set and rise.

15. Yield or refuse, a woman is delighted,
Silence her excuse to decide instead.

16. Virtues suddenly dawn upon him,
Who, behind bars, hears a mournful chime.

17. Passion and lust to a prodigal son,
After the desert blooms, it returns to sand.

18. If the world is going to end either in fire or ice,
Altogether we die once – not twice.

Atacama Desert in bloom

19. What is more mean than envy or indolence
But the two themselves riding on insolence?

20. The worst persecution is one of the mind;
That of the body it can undermine.
Acknowledgement: Internet photos

Playground Limited

I cannot understand the reason of imitating the natural world cum attractions, in lieu of outdoor and on-the-spot experience that promotes reverence for life and the environment.

 Dr Abe V Rotor 

 Artificial playground in a mall, 2015

I cannot smell the earth under my feet, neither the freshness of grass nor the fragrance of  flowers with bees and butterflies hovering, fluttering and alighting for brief rest;

I cannot see birds around; I mistake their songs for whistles and whirls of machines and toys; the singing of cicada, cooing of doves, fiddling of crickets are buried in noise;

I cannot feel the softness of grass, soothing to tired feet, the presence of plants, quivering of their leaves with the slightest touch, towering trees that lead my eyes to heaven;

I cannot hear water moving downstream among rocks, hissing of a waterfall, stream  settling down in peace and quiet, calming frayed nerves and tired muscles; 

I cannot imagine how grownups and children are united in an artificial ambiance, by time limited by toll, off limit signs, warnings and many rules that limit freedom and choice; 

I cannot imagine animals in their stuffed replicas being treated by kids in different ways, consciously or otherwise, if such attitude applies to growing up in a natural world;   

I cannot relate beautiful experiences with Nature, richness of imagination, logical thoughts and inferences where the playground is a patchwork lacking contiguity and goal;    

I cannot hear thunder in the distance that bring in life-givng rain that nourishes the forests, pastures and fields, that signals the kids playing to pack up and go home; 
I cannot understand the reason of imitating the natural world cum attractions, in lieu of  outdoor and on-the-spot experience that promotes reverence for life and the environment. 

Transforms  -  artificial replicas for study. Do these contribute 
to growing up in a natural world?  

Sunset of "Gypsy Life"

 Dr Abe V Roor

Mang Juan poses with his travelling cariton pulled by a bullock, 2015. 

Gypsy - that's the medieval term to describe the unique ethnic life of a  people, mainly the Romani, and other tribes as well that led a nomadic lifestyle, selling wares, entertaining people and "camping" in their carts along their indefinite route.

They had laws and rules of their own, keeping their unity and preserving their culture, which the outside world barely understood as to regard them integrated into the main stream of society.  But they were not, and in fact they were persecuted like the Jews.

If there is such a thing as "wandering Jews" who were deprived of their country and discriminated as Jews, the gypsies too were treated the same.  Many of them died under Nazi rule in WW II, and their number was decimated - yet they carried on.

In fact, any lifestyle in any country that is similar in some respects with the life of a gypsy is automatically given a name as such - gypsy, as if it is a universal connotation, although it may be a far cry from the true and original gypsy culture.

Yes, basically the gypsy is nomadic, but the later gypsies built homes and communities of their own, where they enjoyed a sense of belonging and loyalty to  their unique culture. Today all over the world they are being integrated into the mainstream of society. 

Beliefs that they can foretell the future with crystal balls and tarot cards remain as signature of gypsies, historically their main trade. Costumes speak at a glance the identity a gypsy lady like Esmeralda, the gypsy in Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. 

In the novel, Esmeralda ignited clash beween rich and poor, exposed social ills of medieval France.  Her sensual physical attributes became the object of lust, greed and murder. On the other hand, she also gained sympathy and compassion - on behalf of her own people.  

There are no true gypsies in the Philippines, and if there is any, they are the like of Mang Juan who earns a living by ambulant selling of native crafts, from broom to hammock, native furniture to kitchen utensils. His trade route is Pangasinan to Manila, a distance of 300 km.     

Call it aculturation or cultural integration, globalization in the larger sense. Acceptance from the top and adaptation from below - and aggrupation.  How wide the gap exists, is a challenge to society.  While this is key to integration, there is equally a potential repercussion, and danger - the loss of diversity which is the biggest threat to mankind in our postmodern times.~        
        Gypsy family on the move; Gypsy performing art is world renowned.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Saddest Goodbye

An extremely pathetic family picture.
Dr Abe V Rotor
The years, the years ahead cut at its trunk,
slowly what remains of its stump
and roots starve and die. 
I am dying, father.

Years back, those happy years behind,
are memories that shall linger on -
if only forgetting is easy -
I am dying, father.

Mother, sister, my friends I wish you all
everything but the trap I fell in -
life the good life I failed,   
I am dying, father.

My world then, my world now,
the walls, now the last hour -
Live happy I never lived
I am dying, father .

I see stained hands cupped. I reach 
them and beg for forgiveness,
my cross, my own, 
dear Father. 

NOTE: I received this photo through my e-mail which I kept it for some time to think of what appropriate title and treatment I would give.  Finally this is the product of that incubation.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Lawin is Alive on a Backboard

 Dr Abe V Rotor

 Lawin (Philippine Hawk} in acrylic by the author 2016
I captured in painting this raptor on a backboard,
its wings spread and poised to play the game
with the kids, symbol of reverence for life,
and love for all creation, the principal aim.

I hear the kids amiably talking to the bird
in a language they understand each other;
the bird is orphan no more in their game
with each score in its favor and honor.~

Basketball is a favorite neighborhood game.  Lagro, QC

Note: Now and then, a pair of lawin hovers over Lagro to the delight of its residents of watching this endangered species in full view.  The habitat of lawin is the watershed of the La Mesa reservoir adjacent to the subdivision. It is to this bird that the emblem of a neighborhood basketball team is adapted, thus creating awareness of the bird's deplorable condition and its importance to ecology and Philippine culture.  A new organization of writers and artists in Lagro has been named after this bird as its acronym and symbol.