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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.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A DIALOGUE ON GNATS (Conversations with Stick Series #12)

From where I sit, Stick, I can see how God
presides over the fate of mice and men.
Look at those gnats dancing on the head
of a cabbage: now that’s what feasting is.
Suck and fly, suck and fly! Swarm around
the little garden, bite and fly, bite and fly.
Isn’t this the ritual of all struggle? Take
all you can while you can. Grasp if you can.
It won’t be long nor will this last forever:
the spectre of a reaper lurks in the deep shade,
its wings lit by shards of sunlight. There it is.
The Crow descends on the cabbage patch.
It sizes up the swarm of gnats, and quickly
opens its beak to let them fly into a throat
that earlier cackled an invitation: Come!
Abandon all hope you who enter here. Come.
Much like the chapel bells ringing for the
flock to gather for the Rapture, milord.
Shut up, Stick, I see where your point is going.
—Albert B. Casuga
Prompt: A cloudless sky and air so clear, I can see gnats dancing 100 feet away. In the deep shade, borrowing shards of sun, the wings of a crow.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 06-15-11

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