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.

Monday, April 25, 2011



Malleable heart, mouth open to the sky and rain,/my discipline is to learn your one singing note—/to fish it out of the depths of a fountain like a penny/someone tossed there long ago, or like the sun/in hiding.---“Singing Bowl”, Luisa A. Igloria

Is it your one singing note that I am deaf to,
one you have always kept unsung, unheard?

How deep must I plunge into the whirlpool
that your malleable heart has hidden, unmarked

uncharted, like uncollected coins grown old
in a broken fountain, tokens of desire or whimsy?

Dare I fish it out, this one uncollected penny,
from what depths it has reached in that well?

When you tossed it away, it was best forgotten
like some wilted petals in a convent’s breviary.

I have coveted that one note, I have haunted
the barnacled wayside fountain, brackish now,

where you must have thrown it like a shrug
one winter over your cold uncovered shoulder.

In spring thaw, I could see it again, leaden
and rusty as the sun hidden by some penumbra,

and I must collect it now, make it sparkle
once again, rub it on my sleeve, and wrap it

until I could wheedle from its sheen that
one note you have always kept unsung, unheard.

---Albert B. Casuga

COLLABORATIVE POEM PROMPT: “Singing Bowl” by Luisa A. Igloria, posted in Via Negativa, 04-22-11, Morning Porch Poems Spring 2011.

No comments: