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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.

Monday, April 22, 2013

THE BIG QUESTIONS, 27: GRAVESTONE SCRAPING (WHAT, INDEED, DO WE KNOW ABOUT ETERNITY?)

This is Poem #27 of my series of poems in response to the Big Questions to mark National Poetry Month (NaPoMo April 2013). What, indeed, do we know about eternity? Has anyone come back from the other side to tell us what we have known by faith or what we can hope to know before we kick the bucket?
 
 
 
 
GRAVESTONE SCRAPING


Has anyone come back from this defiled form
and mapped out ways to get back to that eternity
we claim as heirs to, where days are as chartless
as the river stream that must flow to an endless,
ceaseless fountainhead which has no beginning?
There is no other way back except by destruction.

When every rampart has been carted away, we
do not pine for them like those we cannot lose
because we store them in vaults of our memory:
they are our milestones of an afterlife we choose
to build from achieved desires, fulfilled dreams--
these chambers of a heart that will not crumble.

What, indeed, do we know of eternity? Save this:
We are never away from it. Until memory fades.


---ALBERT B. CASUGA

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