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, May 1, 2012


Photo by Bobby Wong, Jr., Philippines


Here come the waves, scrolling their bluegreen pages. The carriage rolls back at each interval:  return, return, return.---Luisa A. Igloria, “Rotary”, Via Negativa, 05-01-12

1. The Imperative

Return. To where? An imperative loses its urgency
when challenged by an aimless interrogative. Huh?

Whence come the gumption of a little boy when he
gives his mother “the lip” at the command: Time out!

Why? What did I do? Don’t you love me anymore?

A triptych of a query, but gets shut down: ‘Coz, I said so.

Thus the impenitent lad goes to his corner, sulks
the better part of the threatening stare of the mother,

but wins the day, when he is told to go wash his hands
and get ready for dinner before father comes home.

Much like the waves scrolling wet pages, they roll back
a carriage of flotsam at ebbtide, return to an open sea

and lose what fury they need to deliver an imperative.
Return. To where? Wherever. Whenever. However.

2.  A Lingering Ache

He traces the trailing colours of the sundown hiss,
And shrugs at the lingering ache twisting in his gut:

He knows there is no going back, when no one there
would no longer care to ask who you are or from where.

There is no old country for him who had left his corner
sullenly injured for dreams that cannot come true or

questions that will never  be answered: Why have you
quickly forgotten me, when all I wish is to return

and be forgiven for wondering if you don’t love me
any more than a prodigal son who still longs for you

But like the waves, she scrolls worn-out pages forever,
and these do not return; unlike the waves, she’ll never

return to an old shore, nor care if the sun rises again
from distant horizons. She locked her doors. She’s certain.

---Albert B. Casuga

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