FRA (March 29 / Cabagan, Isabela, Philippines)

Crispin: Toccata And Fugue In D Minor

(In memory of Rev. Fr. Crispin Offermans, O'Carm, organist, friend of the Filipino people, who died in The Netherlands after many years of mission work in the Philippines.)


Think of Crispin

JS Bach and the revolution
Come to mind.
Toccata and fugue,
Carmel and people's war
He cherished deeply.

Fugue was form and name
Of his baroque sensibility,
Point and counterpoint
Of his Being
Relentlessly classical
In singlemindedness
Of friar and cadre seeking
What the heart clings to
And relies upon,
Yet rhapsodically free like
Arpeggios and arabesques
And improvisations become
Pearl exquisitely misshapen
In anguish and love.


In the revolution, he said,
Many personal contradictions
Are resolved: one good
Reason to be there.
It filled him with awesome
Chords and silences,
Majestic organ music
To his cathedral,
Striking fear in the Enemy
And opening people
To the power of neighbor,
To greater mind,
Deeper self,
The revolution is fugue,
Therefore, easily,
Crispin. Fugue in search
Of freedom
Was Crispin.


Beyond scale of passages
He went to the people,
Pouring out grain and oil
Of his heart.
Such was his music.
Orchestrating efforts into
Crescendos of struggle
Against oppression
And enabling much care
And harmony for the poor
In ministries of service.

And when the jars
Had their fill and more,
At the right time
He ceased to flow.
But is music lingers on
Like spirit of Elijah
In the desert
Of town and country.


On August 15,1991,
The universe set him free.
Praise the exuberance
Of the man as fugue.
Bach reaching out
In concert,
Bloom of tulips
Overwhelming the land,
Justice rolling down
Like waters to the sea,
Chariot of dancing fire
Rushing to heaven.

Forgive his trespasses.
Replay his music.

Think of Crispin.

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Pablo Neruda

If You Forget Me

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