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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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

SOMETHING ABOUT PICKING UP RAGDOLLS

Poems of Loss Series #3: There are other love poems that speak of pain and longing, of regret and fear, of failure to sustain the happiness that one must give to loved ones, like children who are left to cry themselves to sleep, forever hoping their absentee parents would soon come home with the day's surprises and goodies to reward good little boys and girls. Night falls. Father has not come home. Mother has gone elsewhere in pursuit of her own dreams.

 Drawing by A. B. Casuga, 1990 
 

SOMETHING ABOUT PICKING UP RAGDOLLS

“Hijo, como estas haciendo con mis nietas y nieto mientras su mujer desgraciada esta viviendo una vida loca? Aiee, santisima, hijo. Ven aqui. Regresas a San Fernando, para puedo ayudarte con sus ninas y unico hijo.---Old Letter Found in a Garbage Recycling Box

Something about picking up ragdolls and cans
graffitied on one’s conscience in silent rooms
built to peek slowly into coincides with the loss
of verb in one’s speech: no amity here between
this ministry and that menagerie.

Evening brings a pack of censure for the father
who, leaving, pledged the carnage of the baker’s
best and Andersen’s hoary hairy fairy tales,
arriving,  plods through debris of waiting --
(arm-less d-o-l-l-s, paperrrrripped dolls,
paper ships, paper planes, paper hats, paper…),
forgetting, now mournfully remembers:
“Candy stores are closed along the way home.”

Silent rooms are built to peek slowly into
because fathers have given up looking
into daughters’ eyes form tears, arguing
the relevance of waiting when all the piper has
is a paper bag of music and a pack of metaphors.
(“You know, only children recall the Deluge?”)
The evening sees the piper leading the (mass)
mice and piper (pauper) drowning.

Fathers plod through debris of waiting
and have learned in turn to pray.*

 
---ALBERT B. CASUGA

 

*Revised version of the poem of the same title posted in my literary blog April, 2009.

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