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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, August 4, 2011



We open memories/like umbrellas, keeping them/until we can’t, when the shielded parts/of us step out and speak. ---From “Mail Pouch” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 08-03-11

We grew up with grandmother
knowing our umbrella songs,
or we won’t be able to use them
when it rained, thus got drenched,
or when the sun seared our follicles,
got burnt and smelled like dried fish. 

Torrents would get us a paragua
and save the creases on our pants.
Hints of inferno? Get the parasol!
Strut about shaded from a sun
that blazes tree tops, boil brains,
but that’s good only for a little girl. 

Paragua, parasol, rain or shine,
will not make it any different---
memories of a sainted warden
shield us well from almost anything
from aching hearts to broken dreams,
and have grown old to fold umbrellas.

---Albert B. Casuga


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