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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, March 4, 2011



(For Sotera Martinez vda. de Buenaventura+)

Her distant gaze must have transported her
to long lost lands melting into each other,
one cannot shape the sea around them.

Even before she finally closed her eyes,
she did not stay moored among the frayed
sheets she said would bind her to a past

when strolls were walkabouts along
the Paseo del Mar, trips to town were
contrite encounters at some confessional

nook in an empty church across the house
she lived in---La Iglesia de San Guillermo
was her playground of pews and candles.

She was handsome in her purple terna
when we would walk to the Convento,
her warm hand wrapped around my palm,

her parasol’s shadow on her gentle face
that would break into the bright smile
I would look for when lost in fantasies

of abandoned spaces where darkness grabs
waylaid boys and devours their entrails
falling on the narrow rain-soaked streets.

When you left us, abuela, did you somehow
know that it was better to stay asleep
and dream of sprouting a thousand parasols,

and standing by the stream to listen
to the rain tap out on rooftops the rhythm
of remembrances we shall never forget?

Aunque estos son recuerdos y pensamientos
Desolados, queridisima abuela, ellos son
Lluvia que no puedo olvidar nunca jamas.*

I will stay out in the rain today, abuela,
and catch your hand in mine, and hear
you sing the lullaby of the unceasing rain.

---Albert B. Casuga
Mississauga, Ont. 03-03-11
* Although these are sad memories and thoughts,
dearest grandmother, they are the rainfall
that I will never ever forget.

This poem was prompted by the iamges "found" in this quote from "The Truth About Trees" by Dave Bonta.
Better to stay asleep and dream of sprouting a thousand parasols or hiding like a bird beneath its feathers. Better just to stand by the stream and listen to the water, which has mastered the art of running from the sky.---Dave Bonta, “The Truth About Trees”, Via Negativa, 02-28-11 (

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