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.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


(Poro Point, a painting by Perla Generosa-Patricio, amiga duradera.)


The person you must speak to,/ but cannot call, you dread it so much.---From “Let Me Do This Thing for You” by Hannah Stephenson, The Storialist, 02-22-11

Has it all been fifty years? Same voice, same lilt
across the seas, and all we could talk about is hurt,
kneecaps, and their replacement. Hiked a hundred
highways. Always, always, this is home. Who else
would laugh raucously about a painful, painful cut
across a decrepit bone? Who would imagine pails
of tears, as you cracked the newly-installed joint,
crawling on all fours like the prouder forebears,
just so you could find refuge among soft pillows?
Retreat to your darkened bedroom. Curse the cut. 

Except that today, when you called, you were your
three-hundred-sixty-five-day guffawing patient;
and all this is for your new-found-patient friend,
my fearful wife, whose kneecaps need never be
used again, wherever rendezvous around the bend
brings us. You were kind enough to tell her: Go for it.
Have them alter what you got from both fathers
in heaven and on earth. It will only add more to our
fancy-free roving, the highways still untravelled. 

Oh, you gleefully chattered: we recalled birthdates,
and found you older; but I had always wanted to be
your big brother to shelter you from a joie de vivre
that would throw all cautions to the wanton wind.
While we waited for your return call, (we missed you
last night), I guessed you were the shadow on a pane
looming into a scarcely-heated study, but I knew
the past would no longer be dreaded; they have come
to regale us with hope, no, not fear and trembling.  

She was silently impressed: Both of you have never
grown old, one can pick that up from your laughter.
Touching her knees, she stood up quickly. Pain. Pain.
But cheers to old friends. Love to them. Salamat, Perla.*

--- Albert B. Casuga

(Perla and her husband Franco at New Jersey, USA.)

*Salamat, Perla. ---Thank you, Perla.


Hannah Stephenson said...

Oh, this is so very sweet!


Thanks, Hannah. She writes and paints, too!