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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, July 8, 2012




...I plow through each day’s heft and mystery, plant one foot before the other. / Anxious, trembling, the heart’s a poorly paid clerk, racing against the clock./...Let’s you and I walk before nightfall’s murk, ignoring the clock. ---From Mid-Year Ghazal by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa 07-04-12

Here is that time mocking me now: I am mostly careful.
When I walk through empty rooms, I plant one foot
before the other, hoping I have a steady ground to step
upon before rattling cupboard ware to announce fright
before it wraps me into a cocoon of dread and disaster.

Did I learn anything from past wounds? Do I have scars
to show for them? I peep into darkened bedrooms, not
unlike tyro thieves who would not know what lustre
colours precious stones, or which heirloom is worth it all,
I see her toss and turn to quickly hide a tear-stained face.

Oh, that I could take your pounding heartache from you,
my child, and rip it out from where it has stabbed you
unawares and made you bleed all this time, all this time.
If I could bring him back to you that he might sing you
those lullabies he left unsung, I will. But I would die, too.

Yet I would, if you could escape this nightfall gloom
that tears at you like a rabid jackal, a twin to your lizard
on the ceiling that in your nightmares grows huge enough,
serpentine enough, to swallow you into yet another hole
where you dream to see your father bravely rescuing you.

Let’s just walk away from that hole now, he will not come.
Neither you nor I would make for a damsel in distress.

---Albert B. Casuga

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