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.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

LA PALOMA: (A Song for Lent)


April is the cruellest month, breeding/ Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/ Memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain./…What are the roots that clutch, what branches grow/ Out of stony rubbish? —T. S. Eliot, I. The Burial of the Dead, The Wasteland.

(A Song for Lent)

Apres la Deluge, the bird scoured the land laid
waste by wrath descended on the people of Yahweh
who now praise the promise of a rainbow: a pot of mercy
lies there somewhere, somehow, however late or little.

A mourning dove skimming the treetops flies off
toward the sunrise, its wingbeats counting carrion below:
when temblors rock them out of their careless stupour
and the sea claims them all back to a womb of tomb,

they still stare at darkened skies and pray sunbreak
will rip the pall fallen on the land and let roots burgeon:
He will not preside over the slaughter of the innocent,
lest a horde of cherubims storm a deaf heaven.

Quite like the ruptured land below, the dove steams up
to a growing rainbow at the foot of a muted Golgotha,
and rush a morning whistle, a lament of a prayer really:
let them feel once again a caressing hand outstretched

on the tree planted on the hill of skulls, let their screams
jolt this son of man that he might scour the wounded land,
that he might cry Abba, Father, why have you abandoned
them? Like the mourning dove, that he might bring the sunrise.

Mississauga, Ontario 04-02-11

"Prompted " by the Morning Porch post by Dave Bonta, 04-2-11

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