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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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


What’s that wrapped in paper?/ Who heard? The leaves are buzzing with news of the world. ---Luisa A. Igloria,  "Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe"


Ahhh…so much mirth with the greening Earth,
so I ordered more rain for the plains of Spain!
Perplexed yet with this morning’s menu?
Hail, rain, sleet, sunshine, winter remnants
are of no moment when I sip my minted tea.

I tap my fingers with the rooftop staccato,
dip my biscuit not once but thrice with brio.
That done, I slide my anteojos gafas down
my schoolmarmish nose to read the paper
rolled like a salami on my morning table.

Unfurled, my gazette of daily mayhem
confirms the slaughter of yet more lads
and lasses in the name of country and god,
of yet more hungry children orphaned
in lands where force majeure trumps
the rule of nature and law, where hurt
and pain are never ever granted furlough.

“Aiee, Dios mio,” I sigh quickly, and drink
my tea before it gets cold. Birds steal
my biscuits, but like the windblasted trees,
I droop and execute my dotard shrug.

—Albert B. Casuga

Prompt:  An accelerated tapping on the roof—who ordered rain? One bird says Konkerlee, another, Drink your tea. Takes me a second to sort them out. ---Dave Bonta, Morning Porch 04-19-11
Collaborative Poem Prompt: "Morning Shrug" is a response to Luisa Igloria's "Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe" posted in Morning Porch as her response to Dave Bonta's Tweet prompt. Extending Igloria's light tone in the host poem, our response adopts the blase and cynically ironic and helpless response of the persona as he sips his tea and shrugs about the state of a world alien to his universe of careless and powerless dotage.

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