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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.

Monday, March 7, 2011



I had barely finished whittling on my cane handle—
a duck-like protuberance on a branch I found wedged
between a broken shovel and a headless broom—
when I got startled by an unexpected trill, a song
sparrow warbling astride a neatly gathered pile of twigs
ready for the refuse hauling. Rain has washed the yard
of the rotting leaves freed from frozen mounds of snow,
and the east wind has brought a whiff of warmer air.

I made a hurried wager with the sprawled Labrador
gnawing on his day-old bone on my soggy porch —

“If this twitter does not bode the season’s turn
or bear tidings of a premature spring, I will wrap
myself away and stay asleep, and give this cane
its full reprieve from propping my twisted knees
and aching body in the dreamed-of walks through
the woods’ edge, and leave the swelling buds to fall off
yet again from expectant branches like flushed victims
of fraud swindled off their hopes by false pulses of spring,
or aborted by an investment of bad weather in the dotage
of a dotard Earth grown weary of wanton tenants
who cannot be bothered to clean their porches.”

I say, old chap. Did you just say, spring will be returning?

—Albert B. Casuga
Mississauga, Ont., 03-06-11

These are the images that "prompted" the poem.
Small rain on an east wind. Swelling buds impart a faint red hue to the woods’ edge, and a song sparrow states the obvious: spring is here.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 03-06-11


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