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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.

Sunday, August 14, 2011



How long does wood need to steep,/to stay alive long enough with clay/it loves in the kiln?---From “Each Question is Always the Same Question” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 08-11-11 

I would take forever, if I were wood, to steep
in peacock colours and stand tall as a totem
pole.  But I am still an uncut trunk, a lookout
point really, staying true to a palabra de honor.* 

On my word of honour, even when I am felled
to provide fire for cauldrons or heat for kiln,
I will stay alive long enough as ember until
you have been formed as that earthen jar 

to hold what we have  always wanted to keep:
all the love and promise moulded in crucibles
of passion molten at last as honey to last us
to the end of our journey beyond this woods. 

This kiln fire would have long cooled down,
before the flame of this palabra de honor,
my troth and my word, would have flared out.
My trunk will be imbued with lustrous red soon. 

---Albert B. Casuga

*Palabra de honor ---A word of honour, a troth that one is ready to live or die for.

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