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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, June 15, 2011

A DIALOGUE ON A COURTSHIP (Conversations with Stick Series #11)

That humming sound from a small creature amazes me, Stick.
Huh? Ham? Hum, humming? It’s that show-off revving off
on his re-tooled Vespa bike, I’m sure. What’s for breakfast?
My peripatetic guide to the absent world of the sleep-deprived
goes off-tangent as soon as I pick it up from the porch floor
where it fell with nary a clunk to disturb its wooden universe.
It would have been an open-throttle hum but for the flutter
behind the lilac bush, and a choked call like that wheezing
bike careening then suddenly fuel-clogged over cobbled strada.
Ah, the Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone! Or, is it Roman Holiday?
The Stick turns into a revived cineaste, and defines the scene
as if these flirting hummingbirds were a Mr. Grant /Miss Hepburn
tandem, and I demure: was it not Mr. Beatty and Miss Wood
caroming  around oblivious of the splendour on the grass or even
the glory in the flower? But I am no movie maven, after all.
Is it the bird’s Romeo revving it up like a toy mower chewing
tall weeds, and its inamorata, unimpressed, humming away
from the lilac bush like a Juliet singing: wherefore art thou?
No, milord, it is the East, and the sun is rising. Wake up,
sip your tea and leave these silly humming creatures be.

Stick, bewildered by my sudden grasping of its neck, groused.
Defending my sullied memory, I mumbled: Shut up, Stick!

—Albert B. Casuga

Prompt: I hear something chewing in the tall weeds. Behind the lilac, a hummingbird bent on courtship opens the throttle on its small engine. ---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 06-14-11

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