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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.

Friday, February 25, 2011

THE ROAD TAKEN (Found Poem Series)


There were no other roads to the potato patch
tilled by my abuela, feeding the whole cowering clan
while they hid in caverns cut through mountain
ridges enveloping the barrios where I was born.

Mop-up kempetai* squads roamed the hills,
but we were safe even from infants’ hungry puling.
No divine intervention this, God was hiding, too.
And the road they took had dead grass and gravel.

On either side of the path, there were burnt trees.
Bombed out nipa huts, freshly dug graves,—
and from the depths of the valley engulfed by hills,
a crow’s shrill cry echoed to mock the marauders.

We did not even need these winters.

—Albert B. Casuga
Mississauga, 02-24-11

*Japanese occupation mercenaries rooting out Filipino guerrillas in their mountain sanctuaries. Ruthless, they did not take prisoners; they only left corpses on roadsides used as as their killing fields.

The poem was "found" from these images.
Winter on this side, winter on the other side, and in between the road’s dead grass and gravel. One crow cries, high and shrill.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 02-24-11 (

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