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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.

Friday, April 15, 2011



What is it like without sounds?
Would a ululation define grief,
would it simply be the wind’s howl?

The rusty hinge creaking when
her door opens, would that be dull,
even if she had expected a coy call

much like a touch on her cold back,
that she might learn to want again?
Would these woodpeckers be sentinels?

Would lullabies be stark pantomimes?
The ringing of the steeple churchbells,
would they gather us to pray at the hill?

What would it be like, to see, not hear
the rush of a creek stream murmur like
the rhythmic flapping of butterfly wings?

Would there be ardour in an embrace,
release in a muted sigh, an ebbing
in the frenzied flow of fluid love sounds?

Would the wordless silence of a glance
across that crowded room be keener
if there were whispers accompanying it?

Would the sounds of a sunrise make
its bravura brighter, or a silent cockcrow
signal the urgency of a newfound day?

O, that I could see the sounds of silence
and hear the soundless wail of despair!
I would not need to ask these questions.

—Albert B. Casuga

The Prompt:  Morning full of the cries of woodpeckers—part ululation, part rusty hinge. Like the sounds the trees make in a winter wind, speeded up.---Morning Porch, Dave Bonta, 04-15-11

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