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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 1, 2013




Keep your eyes wide open if you want to dream---Paolo Coelho

The ones we talk about or ache to recall
the morning after, we call nightmares. 

A love-sick, maudlin, slobbering goodbye
in the tight-pillow-hug tearjerker dream? 

It was not a dream. It is a stifled desire,
a constipation “devoutly to be wished”. 

Shrinks shrank these into Freudian blots
on the balance sheets of love and hate: 

You want to run as wildly far away as you
could, id permitting, haunches allowing. 

One needy life is enough torment; free
yourself then from this strangled trellis, 

where hanging like a wanton leaf is not
the twin of hanging on but dangling still 

until hurts can no longer wound you,
nor gentle caress save you. You are a stone. 

No fall can sever you from tangled vines
that summer burns, nor frost cripple you; 

you would not even pray for the spring
to bring sunrises and sunsets to heal you. 

Open your eyes and dream that loneliness
becomes you; you are strong and alone, 

omni soli, semper.  Will courage redeem
you then from the stupidity of being brave 

and alone?  And when you sleep, will you
remember to open your eyes and  dream? 

--- Albert B. Casuga


(For Steve Jobs+) 

Dance a digital dream, and spin a web
around this globe where everyone knows
if you floss your teeth, or pick your nose,
if you still venture out of your craven cave. 

Did you earn enough to buy a paperbook
that made you a little prince of a pauper,
when learning meant to read or to hunger
for that leftover burger, or die in a nook, 

coupling with a book, ranting of a stable
boy, romping in hay, dung, and cackling
hen with the Lady of the Manor, stripping
bare all that is noble, her drawers on a table? 

Dance the jig of the devil astride the tombs
of the slovenly, slothful, and obtuse writers,
who bartered their dreams with publishers
stuffed with ducats, scribblers with crumbs. 

Dare you now liberate these dumb brothers
who dream with closed eyes, sing rhymes
like drooling mutes, or untinkling chimes?
Internet, iPad, Kodo, Kindle, their druthers, 

you dreamt them with open eyes and saw
that nightmares are only for the blind,
all who dream with closed eyes, the kind
who cannot see behind walls grass also grow. 

--- Albert B. Casuga

Photo by Reuters

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