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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.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

ATOP A HILL OVERLOOKING THE SEA: TWO POEMS FOR MOTHER


ATOP A HILL OVERLOOKING THE SEA: TWO POEMS FOR MOTHER

 

1. AN UNCERTAIN QUIET

(For Mother*)


But there is silence now at the phoebe’s nest–-/ the fledglings have flown–-Icarus-like must test/ their wings against the sinews of a summer wind. / Is this uncertain quiet also an augury of mourning? ---From “Gone: A Weaning Song”, A. B. Casuga, 06-10-12


Is this uncertain quiet also an augury of mourning?
It is a cool, bright, and clear but silent morning,

what should move have not, even the gentle breeze
ruffling foliage rampant now on the crowns of trees

seemed to have gone still like the stale pool of mud
that must have caked in the warm night and seized

around the trunk clinging, child-like, on Mother’s
knee wailing: Don’t go! Don’t leave me! Please stay?

But she could not; she has waited for this clear day
to take a trip she must have wished for among others,

all dreams gone stale then, but she must go and meet
Father somehow where he has waited along a street

Where they were to see each other again on a cool day,
Eager to wrap each other in arms that pleaded: Stay!


---Albert B. Casuga


*Nenita Buenaventura Casuga, b. January 11, 1923 , d. June 11, 2012)+ R.I.P.


 


 


2. GRIEF: THE OTHER FORM


(Remembering Mother)


"Don't grieve. Anything you lose comes around in another form." ~ Rumi


Lo siento, mucho. I am sorry. Sympathies,
thoughts, and prayers.
They are staple;
when the loss stings, these do salve pain.

But is sorrow eased somehow by these
when in the gloom, they are only able
to shape and reshape, as only niceties can,

into dread that they will not be there again
when mornings jolt the stricken and unable
into a stream of emptiness, a hollow niche

where totems people the blank memories
that must fill in the gaps like this candle
melts into a candelabra to hide what it can

about the abyss of oblivion, a gaping solace,
when the dead are interred in this dark place?


---ALBERT B. CASUGA

 


 

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