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, June 13, 2011


Photo by Bobby Ong Jr.

Nosegay. That was how you called it, did you not?
Could you have called the small bunch of gardenias
a better name? A yellow and white bouquet maybe?
But the flowers were scarce on the tree we knew
stood between your fascination and fiercest dream:
to collect a basketful of petals to strew on my path
whether I was coming or going, or simply leaving
our rock, the one you marked with entwined
hearts and secret names we called each other.
Neither the tides nor the brine will blur them,
nor will battering waves erase them—promises
you made with the scent of gardenia. I know.
A smell of knowing is what I call it now. Across
this table, while I snuggle close with every crack
of thunder, bolts streaking light on your face,
I hear your promise with the scent of gardenias.
Will I ever forget why you called it nosegay?
Flushed, you tried to explain,  but I kissed you then.
—Albert B. Casuga
Prompt: But somewhere in the currents,/ a vein of remembered scent; and I said, Gardenia. ---From “Gardenia” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 06-11-11