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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, March 24, 2013

THE SEASHORE SHELLS; TWO POEMS


 
TWO POEMS: THE SEASHORE SHELLS


For Lolita Tadina Molanida  (1943-2013+),
In Memoriam for a Prom Partner and Friend*


1. PICKING UP LOST SHELLS
 
We had little worlds then, but they were good.
Were they as bright as our dreams though?
It was the prom night I cherish most, we would
Finally hold each other, gingerly stepping toe
To anxious toe, dancing timid glances away,
Deaf to the music, anxious for that deep sway
We giggled at when our prom coach yelled:
“Hold those hands like you liked each other!
One-two. One two-three---sway!” She  called
Out, we sashayed, twirled away from each other,
Only to glide back into that one sudden embrace,
When I stepped on your wayward shoelace.

Life’s promenades must end, they can’t go on,
Like a lifetime of absence until I heard you’d gone.

 
2. IN CANAOAY, AT PORO POINT

That’s where to go when you ache
for a piece of that elusive paradise,
it is a stone’s throw from there
where languid sunsets play tricks
on squinting eyes, a will-0’-the-wisp
laved by ebbtide, a sundown bravura
of rainbows, a Wagnerian grandeur.

Here I am, picking up abandoned
shells. Could their quondam settlers
have required more wiggle space,
find ease where there is nothing
left of free and unbridled growing?
I, too, have bartered for lost dreams
but like Orpheus I looked too closely.

Have I turned around to size up my
trophy coming out of struggles
to recast quotidian days into happy
residues of life and love? Did I lose
what I endlessly return to, where
coming back is also coming home?
I look back for shells that I had lost.


---ALBERT B. CASUGA

 

*La Union High School, Junior-Senior Prom, 1959

 

1 comment:

Michelle mathews said...

she is my midwife i was born in september 3, 1990 she is the one who knows who is my real mother . im 23 years old now and still looking for my biological mother :(