Islander in the City by Pablo A. Tariman:


Islanders cheering tenor Nomher Nival and pianist Gabriel Paguirigan at the Catanduanes State University Auditorium in 2018. Will live concerts be back under the new normal? Photo by Floyd Evangelista Flores

I celebrate the arts


When I read a good poem

Watch a piece of moving  cinema

Or touched by theater as a slice of life.


I celebrate the arts

When dance goes beyond motion

And liberate mobility

To the level of indescribable phrase

Of movement.


I celebrate music

When the sound goes beyond

Its source: the stage, a player

Or clips from a podcast

And go straight to your being

After touching your heart

And mind.


When nothing moves you

There is nothing to celebrate

As bureaucratic rituals

Turn to emptiness

With speeches weighed down

By clichés

And the arts take

The back seat.


I don’t like the mindset

That says good music

Is not for the common man

And therefore  they  should hear nothing

But music that appeal to the feet

And not anything to illuminate

The throbbing of our hearts

And mind.


It is national arts month.

Shall we dance?

Shall we take flight on the wings of song?

Should we cheer live theater

Or celebrate

Rono or Kurosawa?


Or should we just accept

That there is no place for poems

In congress or in the palace

Or even in the museums?


Will wait for that uncertain time

When a new day

Is greeted

By the warm presence

Of a singer

Of a dancer of consequence

An actor

Or a poet

Who can see

Beyond the emptiness

Of our existence.

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