My photo
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, August 25, 2013


Photo of Marie Clementine Casuga-Lalonde by Adele Casuga at Sauble Beach

Soon, you just know, you’d cover the hole. Oh?
There was one other man, a saint of a dotard
Though, who chided a little lass much like you,
“Wee one, why are you pouring each little cup
From the sea into your small hole in the sand?”

Askance, she glanced at his worn friar sandals,
Looked coyly into his dark wizened face, his eyes
Burning with the sundown’s flame of colours,
Then muttered (like a mother upbraiding a son
Who climbed a dying oak tree to snatch a nest
He said he must save lest the unhatched eggs
Break before their time, but was told: Do not!):

“Wise, Sir, Good, Sir, I must empty this sea
Into this shore that Father might be spared time
Casting his ragged net to catch a meal Mother,
Sister, and Brother have piled stones for a stove
To cook on, before we leave for the town yonder
To bring offerings, fish and beans, to the temple.”

“But the ocean is just so vast, my innocent child,”
He hastened to say in the mien of most old men
Rather impatient about youthful impertinence,
“You will never in your lifetime ever empty a sea
Of its stream, nor could brave Noah in his Ark,
Not even when God sent that dove and rainbow.”

She stood up then, wrapping her windblown skirt
Around her spindly legs, and whispered to the wind:
“Nor could you, in your learned and entire lifetime,
Know why there must be a Father who sends a Son
With only a Fiery Spirit to spread Love and be killed.”

As you break into what abuelo calls your sonrisa
De los angeles, sonrisa de hermosura, sonrisa bella,
Hija, mia,*” you must be murmuring to the wind
Caressing you at Sauble: “I shall cover every hole,
Da-da, where you could stumble. Got you covered.”


Mississauga, August 25, 2013

*…sonrisa de los angeles,  , sonrisa de hermosura, sonrisa bella , hija mia…” (Trans: angel’s smile, smile of beauty, lovely smile, my little girl…”)

Photo of the Lalonde siblings romping in the sea by Adele Casuga


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