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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, April 8, 2012

SABADO DE GLORIA: THIS TOMB IS A WOMB





SABADO DE GLORIA: THIS TOMB IS A WOMB


"What misery to be afraid of death./  What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven."---Mary Oliver

He chafed at the two-and-a-half-hour service,
And at night yet: a vigil, the pastor called it.
Why a vigil? Who are we losing early sleep
Over? You should not have come to church

This evening with a sour heretic’s spleen.
You put the heathens to shame, his spouse
Now sounding like his shadow-self, would
Most certainly scold him if he dared protest.

Why this vigil? We have lived with this truth
For centuries now.  Why behave like we have
To prove that He prevailed over crucifixion
Unto death? That grave stone moved during


The centurion’s watch? Not even his twelve
Comrades could do that. This tomb is a womb.
What in the name of the saints did you say?
His wife would madly bellow. A womb tomb?

But he would sheepishly answer: Am poetic.
I mean all types of dying or death entombed,
But this was the true womb of life and living.
In this cave all the world’s hideous hate died

So that it may become the womb of a Rock,
Of enduring love, against whose ramparts no
Malice, mayhem, nor vicious evil shall ever
Prevail. She said: they do rhyme, don’t they?

---Albert B. Casuga
04-08-13

 

 This is poem #8 in our poem-a-day celebration of the National Poetry Month this April.


1 comment:

ALBERT B. CASUGA said...

Philippine poet Rita B. Gadi posted the following to respond to the poem above. We are reposting this from MY FACEBOOK NOTES.


NONE

It seems not enough
to have hurt You once
in Calvary.

Each day I repeat
the rending of Your heart
quenching Your thirst with acid,
rolling the dice
for the price of Your robe
the glint of instant gain
twirling in my palms,

LORD, HAVE MERCY!

Please take me back
pressed inside the smallest
particle of space
between
the wooden sliver and Your skin
my holiest intimacy
with Your enormous grief,

LORD, I AM NOT WORTHY!


---RITA B. GADI
From her “Prayers for the Present”