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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, March 23, 2012



Sudden in a shaft of sunlight/ Even while the dust moves/ There rises the hidden laughter/ Of children in the foliage/ Quick now, here, now, always --/ Ridiculous the waste sad time/ Stretching before and after. --- T. S. Eliot, “Burnt Norton”, Four Quartets.

The whimsy of reading graffiti
for some hidden code or life,
is one good excuse for a walk
through the same sprung trail
of surprise budding and talk
of Peace, Love, Voice: a Frog tale,
on a primrose path not taken
for doses of silence and prayer.

I must have started at the end
where the beginning must be:
one has painted the indelible
marks on a street not unlike
sheets of disturbed foliage still
roiling with absconding wind.
Perhaps it was meant to read:
Voice Love and Peace: Frogs.

Someone, sometime, in the dark,
must have stopped pleading
for the wounded and hapless—
no cries ever get to heaven with
a prayer, nor would tears ever work:
would a scream of graffiti on roads
sound injurious enough for a yelp
of mercy; would a whimper of pain?

While children are being nurtured
on the art of throat-slitting mayhem,
voices abroad are not for love or peace
but for the sheer annoyance of frog-
like croaking: the frogs cry Occupy!
except that this Frog at walk’s end
has occupied a Nursery School’s wall.

Is someone in the dark finally saying,
this nook will not welcome slayers
of ceaseless joy, of the brightest look
at being here. The frogs in these
tender throats are defiantly croaking:
love grows here along with origami
and doodles of family picnics; peace
flows freely here among the shared
crayons and the colours of rainbow
graffitied on blank boards. Laughter

Is still the clear language of noiseless
caring, of fondness for what is gentle
and true, and the beautiful. Frogs
voice the peace of love here when
no one does anymore, because they are,
after all the children at play in a small
nursery where the trail ends. Frogs
voice love and peace. Our happy toads.


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