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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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011



I know I will not catch myself singing in the rain
with that white-throated sparrow that’s been
at it since daybreak, quite like the broken siren
that has blared seven long blasts at Fukushima.

Spring’s bird warbles in a still dead forest,
the plant’s live warning bellows shrieks of doom.
The blossoms have opened at last, pollens fall
like elfin marbles brightening blackened barks!

Temblor-struck Sendai rushes out of wanton debris,
to cower at the ashloams dumped by burial details
of wind wafted from the station as grand coroner
spraying yet another pollen killing all that is green,

all that still breathes on earth, in air, water, fire,
or lingering spring puddles. The sparrow sings
unceasingly in the rain, but infants have puled
their stifled whimpers where it, too, is spring

at last in brackish swamp lands left by Hokusai’s
wave that has ghoulishly leaped into life
from a forgotten scroll to wash away remnants
of Nagasaki and all remonstrances left of Hiroshima.

—Albert B. Casuga

The Prompt: The red maple blossoms are open at last, puffs of red anthers or orange pollen. A white-throated sparrow sings without stopping in the rain.---Dave Bonta, Morning Porch, 04-12-11

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