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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 1, 2013

THE BIG QUESTIONS 1: WHAT IS IT ALL FOR?


My first poem for the National Poetry Month (NaPoMo)---April 2013. Am exploring poetic answers to the BIG QUESTIONS. (Cosmological, Philosophical. Why not? Make this exercise worth it. Stuart Clark listed down questions on The Universe in his Big Questions book, and Simon Blackburn his list in The Big Questions: Philosophy. Our first question is from Blackburn: WHAT IS IT (Life) ALL FOR?
 
 
IN SEARCH OF MEANINGS

Missing the many splendored thing
is one way of looking at this search.
How really far out there do we need
to fly, or espy for the god particle we
seemed to have lost in the process?

Why look behind the stars or in them?
Did we not lose our angels coming off
the crib or the direst cranny for shelter?
They do not grow with us, nor guide us.
Absconding, they quietly creep away.

Courage and devilment open our eyes
to what stories we could live with or by,
or what places to board up or occupy.
Orphans at birth, we are alone at death.
What we mean here is what we make.

The womb is a meaning we cannot do
without: our final breath is a call:
Mother, hold me. Our first cry is a call:
Mother, love me. And then we grow old
shaping up all excess purposes and ends.

The tomb is yet another meaning we
scarcely begin to understand before it
pulls us to its urgent demand: living
to die trying to live while dying is easy
may yet be the meaning we struggle for.
 

---ALBERT B. CASUGA

 

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