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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, October 17, 2013


(For Julian Ashley+)
It is the Sea eats limb so life (so love)/ may not to its eternal wanting finish/ what it late started must soon deny:/ a clown’s journey through a circle’s shadow. . .
 Another fishing season would have gone by sundown,
but I have stopped counting and stopped fishing, too.
Think of all the bass that got away and the crayfish
dried brittle on rocks laved clean of seaweed and brine,
ebb tide marking rhythm and time when breaking waves
drown the homeward hallos of fishermen pulling empty
nets and ruined mesh dragged off by rotting catamarans
whose relics now jag brackish breakwater boulders
when low tide retrieves stray shells wrapped in flotsam.

It is my hammock hour. Come swing yourself
on this final refuge. Don’t take too long, hijo.
We have groupers to grill, oysters to chuck!

Echoes of your shrill shrieks and laughter startle me
still when I cock my ear to catch them filling rooms
and spaces that I would have shared with you if you
had only given me the chance to teach you how to fish.
But you left without saying goodbye. At sundown,
though, on my hammock hour, I still hum your lullaby.



Last October 2, Julian Ashley Casuga-Dela Rosa, my first grandchild, would have been 29, but he succumbed to sudden infant death syndrome four months after his birth. Con amor duradero, hijo mio.

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