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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.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

A CRAWLSPACE IN EDEN (A Found Poem Series)


Thumping under a crawlspace,
the poor furtive resident woodchuck
has joined the ranks of human lovers,
and got itself a cranny while in heat:

What is revolting about the freedom
to swing on the branches of maple
when even jays and robins find it easy
and O so quickly practical in flight?

Has the figleaf myth finally befuddled
this spritely unshackled Abelard to hide
an urgent function to please his Heloise
in a cramp and cobwebbed crawlspace?

In the orchard sprawl of a forbidden
garden, once upon a lonely time, a man
begged for a woman and gave his rib
that it may grow into loins and haunches

and He said that she looked good like
the sun and the stars and the appletree
whose ripened fruit they may not share
or lose the blindness of celibate bliss.

What does it matter that a nook is dark
or dank or deep? Is this not a paradise
regained? How so, when the wildness
of wind and throbs of sea and waves are

bartered for the silky warmth of sheets
in antiseptic rooms, and lose in turn
the East of Eden, where love is free
and unafraid and brighter than a crawlspace?

—Albert B. Casuga
Mississauga, 02-25-11

The poem was "found" among these images:
A thumping in the crawlspace under the house and muddy footprints in the snow: the resident woodchuck is in heat. Rain drums on the roof.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 02-25-11 (


I posted "A Crawspace in Eden" in Dave Bonta's The Morning Porch at 10:16 p.m.. and before midnight, at 11:48 p.m, poet Luisa Igloria, recovering from a day surgery, files a take-off from my "found poem". It is a feat worth its devoted act of courage (for poetry, for poetry, all for poetry!), and I am proud to repost this rejoinder from the Norfolk, Virignia Fil-Am poet and Old Dominion University academic:

Luisa Igloria says: (Posted 11:48 p.m.)

In the Eden that was less
is more, a fig leaf was like
Thoreau’s lake– earth’s eye,
in which the beholder measured
the depth of his own nature:
small tendril, wisp curling back
toward the safety of the thigh
even as the tree, the world,
its littlest creatures begged
to be numbered and named.

---Luisa Igloria

Albert B. Casuga says: (A rejoinder to the rejoinder posted 02-26-11, after brunch)

A philosopher-poet’s viewpoint, indeed! “A fig leaf was earth’s eye, in which the beholder measured the depth of his own nature.”

Nature being what biology mandates, it is the “fig leaf” that serves as a “caveat” to the coy—”noli me tangere” (touch me not) unless you mean it, for from this act the Trinity’s sublime “e pluribus Unum” (from the many One) turns love to LOVE. That should be free and unafraid.

What we have is the “tree”, pruned, but still a refuge for even the “littlest creatures that seek to be numbered”. From the depths of this nature, man can ascend toward his “summum bonum” (his highest good): God Who is Love (the last time I looked out of my crawlspace).


Luisa and I might have dominated the poetic action in the cyberspace-generous Dave Bonta's (sketch inset) The Morning Porch ( and blog, Via Negativa (, but the Pennsylvnia poet Bonta is rather doting. I suspect, he will heroically save poetry from the deathbed yet.

To Luisa Igloria and Dave Bonta: Bravo!


Dave said...

Thanks for the linkage, Albert, and for this very entertaining exchange. I am as always honored to play host and provide the embers to light others' poetic fires.


Your Morning Porch and Via have, indeed, lit up a lot of fire this side. See you on the porch.