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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, March 5, 2011



The hawks are back, so must the hunt:
will larger prey save the juncos this time?
No grim reminders remain, rain rinses
the stains on the now supple branches.

But there must be an older scenario here:
the female glides into a taller pine,
her male consort plays a coy peek and hide
(not quite a peck and ride yet) among oaks

flexing sagging twigs, catching sticks
that fall from frozen beaks of carpenter birds
now hithering thithering, feathering nests
for avian settlers should they lose time

before spring breaks the hibernation mode
of things that crawl, climb, cling, or cluck,
and inflicts the nesting restlessness among
the wanton and unafraid—the swallows

that have come back from Capistrano
and the hawks darting from pine to oak
to find which tree fulfills a female caprice
of frenzied flight from foe and friend alike

who might dare scale the tallest pine
where she perches diva-like on a sylvan porch
till he absconds his oaken refuge and fly to her,
bearing gifts of carrion and pledges of care,

testaments really of the human condition:
the God principle IS the female principle.

—Albert B. Casuga
Mississauga, Ont., 03-04-11

Images "prompting" the poem:
An urgent, nasal call: the Cooper’s hawks are back. The female glides into a tall pine while the male appears and disappears among the oaks.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 03-04-11

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