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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 19, 2011

RETURN MAIL 2 (After Letter to Levity*)


(After Letter to Levity*)

How could you have guessed that my voice is barely
“audible over the wind like a junco’s chitter?”
Funny how it’s really reduced to a little snowbird’s
titter, and I have not heard of that rara avis junk
since I used it as foil to lads and lasses jumping
Into dark waters wherever filth and penury mingle.

I cannot stop giggling now on my hammock by the bay,
although I cannot abide the gauche mongers staring
at me rolling off into a soft sand splat roaring silly
reading about Herr Khadaffi, condoms, sausages,
feasts on strawberry lotion, virgins, and decrepit me.
But it’s good you wrote me again. I need levity.

After my last harangue about my rended haunches
and dying loins on ebbtides and stripped quarry trucks
revving the bejesus out of my long vacation by the sea,
I need to travel around this blistered place and back
and bring with me lyrics of laughter and relics of joy
and orgiastic screaming on searing summer beaches.

But all I hear now over my hammock and hoary
body creaks are the ceaseless banshee of mourning
and dying in mudslides, drowning in mudfloods,
crushing skulls in errant temblors, whales beaching
themselves in sandbar graves, deaths in Tunisia,
Egypt, Libya, Iran, Bahrain, Lebanon, Myanmar.

And it is not even afternoon yet.
Trala-la. Haha! Trala-la!
And snowflakes crackle with dry leaves.
Trala-la . Haha! Trala-la!

P.S.  (:-)) + (:-~) + (:-0)

Mississauga, Ont. 2-19-11

Poem triggered by these images and Luisa Igloria's Letter to Levity

Just audible over the wind: a junco’s chitter. Leaves lift off from the newly melted forest floor and join a harried flock of snowflakes.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 02-19-11 (

*Letter to Levity by Luisa Ilgoria (

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