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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


A Lourdes Cadiz-Aguda Painting


(For Veronica on Valentine’s Day, 2012) 

"Now more than ever do I realize that I will never be content with a sedentary life, that I will always be haunted by thoughts of a sun-drenched elsewhere."---Isabelle Eberhardt 

1. A Sundrenched Elsewhere

Sometime soon, I must swing down
from my sundown hammock,
get back to those unpasted pictures. 

Albums have more life here than I need.
They can be nagging, flogging,
their bursting sunshine smiles nailing 

time and love in sun-drenched elsewhere:
there, a place for lost seashells,
here, a cliff to dive into lost memories from. 

Where have they all gone?  Or faded into?
These walls are blank now,
where they hung mute on nailed frames. 

Where shall I go from here when shadows
would no longer grow tall?
Will I even be able to talk to mottled walls? 

I must go back somehow to a sun-drenched
refuge, wherever elsewhere
they have frozen into these dead pictures, 

carrion of wonder in yellowed album pages.
Where have they gone, what place
awaits to return the days I have yet to shape? 

I must find that one sun-drenched place
that haunts me now and see you
there before I abscond into those shadows. 

2.  Poro Point*

That’s where I go to when I ache
for a piece of that elusive paradise,
it is a stone’s throw from there
where languid sunsets play tricks
on squinting eyes, a will-0’-the-wisp
laved by ebbtide, a sundown bravura
of rainbows, a Wagnerian grandeur.  

Here I am, picking up abandoned
shells. Could their quondam settlers
have required more wiggle space,
find ease where there is nothing
left of free and unbridle growing?
I, too, have bartered my lost dreams
but like Orpheus I looked too closely. 

Have I turned around to size up my
trophy coming out of struggles
to recast quotidian days into happy
residues of life and love? Did I lose
what I endlessly return to, where
coming back is also coming home?
I look back for shells that I had lost.


*Revised from a post on September 22, 2011

A photo by Bobby Wong Jr., Philippines

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