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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, June 10, 2011

A PRIMROSE PATH DIALOGUE (Conversations with Stick Series #8)

There is no primrose path to paradise, Stick.
No, not sunshine yellow in mid-morning heat.
I am specially drawn to the bramble trail
of an endless desert. There is challenge there.
But look, the primrose stigma casts claw-shaped
shadows. Beware the simple; peril lurks there.
When the sun climbs, these claws disappear,
not unlike the oasis of a desert mirage. It’s not there.
Shall I walk then through this garden of primroses?
Nothing stirs here except the glare of buttercups.
Little wonder then that primrose paths are yellow:
Easy, smooth, untrammeled. Much travelled, too?
It is the coward’s way, Stick. No pain, no gain.
Huh? Why groan then? Why call our trek a real pain?
Shut up, Stick. Follow the primrose path of sunshine.
Huh? Why? Who said a ball of Jell-o is coloured yellow?
—Albert B. Casuga
Prompt: Evening primroses in the mid-morning heat: so yellow! As the sun climbs, the stigmas slowly retract their claw-shaped shadows.---Dave Bonta, The Morning Porch, 06-08-11 

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