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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, November 9, 2012

THE CRUISE


 
 
THE CRUISE
 

"We shall not cease from exploration/ And the end of all our exploring/ Will be to arrive where we started/ And know the place for the first time."------Little Gidding, Four Quartets, T. S. Eliot
 
"...in the stillness/ Between two waves of the sea./ Quick now, here, now, always---/A condition of complete simplicity." (Ibid)
 

A condition of stillness pursues you,
wherever you find your exile, at sea
or in any exploration. You will be there.  

It is your image on the mirror: an old
longing for the simplicity long lost
in the shuffle of life, loves, and losses.  

Every wave that beats on the ballast
asks: Are you happy at last? Will this
outlast the lingering left-over dread?  

Out there where waves break at the edge
of the firmament of quiet stars on stars
you can see through moving darkness.

Where have all the pains remained?
On what shores did you neglect to load
them, overstaying albatross of gloom?  

Your heart leaps with the bobbing bow
and stern, and you whisper a prayer
drowned quickly by the sea. You laugh.  

They cannot haunt you anymore than
dead memories can bear you down.
You have built a mansion of dreams.  

You have been here before, haven’t you?
Exploring the depths of what happiness
you could grab, you will hold them,  

and will never let them slip away; you
have earned them. In this brief exile
on the sea, would you hold on to this  

sudden grace of simple stillness?
Will this still simplicity pursue you
wherever you roam? Come home then.  

 

--- Albert B. Casuga

 

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