My photo
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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

RETURN MAIL 3 (After "Letter to Green") Prompted Poems Series

RETURN MAIL: (After "Letter to Green")

Verde, que te quiero verde.
—Federico Garcia Lorca

It must have been in Andalucia
(or was it Bilbao?) when I got
your last note raving about blue
skies, verdant bluffs, laurel bushes
turning to green fire under trees
singe by fierce sun rays cutting
through a fandango of branches
swaying with winds roiling the sea
beneath the cliffs where you swore
we will be when you come this way
I wore my green panuelo then;
and running your fingers
through the stray hair mottling it,
were you not recondite, mi amor,
when you said: Yo te quiero, Verde?
Or coy perchance, when the green
you were declaring ardour for
was not the shawl on my shoulders
nor my short lime-sequined vestido
but my eagerly trembling haunches,
wondering how green the grass
would remain under our bodies
while we stared at the cerulean magic
of the patch of sky seen through leaves
of the tree trunk where you carved:
Verde, yo te quiero, Verde.
A covenant made when you last said
you will be back to engrave my name.
I can only see pale shadows there now,
and on the murky ground a patch of snow.

—Albert B. Casuga
Mississauga, Ont. 03-01-11

This poem was "prompted" by the following images and the poem of Luisa Igoria,  Letter to Green, on The Morning Porch ( Backlit by the sun, the weathered mountain laurel bushes turn to green fire under the trees, with pale shadows that must be patches of snow.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 03-01-11

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