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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.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WRATH DESCENDING (A poem triggered by a ligne donne): A Series


It is the retrieval of the limp bodies now piled
six-deep from the quarry’s downhill rampage
that assails even the prayerful dirges sounding
more like a pounding charivari, clangour of
spades against rock clashing with diggers’ calls

for gargling gasps of the dying and shushing
threats to yelping dogs and barking policemen
to plead for silence, a doleful quietude of hope
for hands to cut through the rubble, for faces
really, spitting clay and fighting through debris,

but the strangeness of a startling quarry truck
reverse beeper gone bad does the quelling work
instead like stifling a waking-up snore through
the trill of an alarm clock that’s advertised as
able to rouse even the dead; then stone silence

breaks through but instantly ruptured by the trill
of sparrows lining the pell-mell polewires;
the thud of the quarry truck’s spade startles
a duelling pair that tumbles through torn thicket,
the trilling sounds continue while a weary sun

sets signalling the perching hour of sparrows
absently chirping a cacophony of evening songs
as they have done before and yet to do
though hillsides crumble, or heavens weep,
or quarry truck reverse beepers beep crazily, too.

Mississauga, 1-26-11

The Given Line triggering the poems (ligne donne)

A distant quarry truck’s reverse beeper has gone bad, and trills just like a digital alarm clock. Dueling chickadees tumble through the air.---Dave Bonta, Morning Porch, 1-26-11

* Originally under the Morning Porch title: Another Sentence (After Luisa's)

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